Bird Math: Is A Bird in the Hand Worth Two in the Bush?

January 24, 2012

“A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.”
— Proverb

Two House Sparrows in our bushes

This is a cautionary adage to settle for a sure thing rather than risk everything for possible, but not proven, gains.  I can agree that it is often best for me to find happiness and contentment with what I have rather than constantly strive for more and more.  And yet . . .

Why is it a given that valuing possession and ownership (the bird in the hand) is better than the freedom of birds in nature?  I loved watching these Common House Sparrows in my bushes; they are incredibly beautiful.  And isn’t it marvelous to realize that no one owns these birds and that they are free to fly in our city?  Protecting the birds in the bush for the common good brings their beauty and joy to everyone.  Maybe two birds in the bush are worth far more than a bird in the hand.  Think about it.

Common House Sparrow perched in a bush

Common House Sparrow in winter

Watercolor sketch of common house sparrow

4 Responses to “Bird Math: Is A Bird in the Hand Worth Two in the Bush?”

  1. Shirley Mord Says:

    Great bird pictures, we feed them all winter

  2. Renee Says:

    I have a bird feeder in my backyard and my desk is right next to the window facing the feeder. I love watching the sparrows and am amazed at the number that come to my feeder. Every once in a while I get a treat of a blue jay or cardinal. Mourning doves also congregate under the feeder at times. Yesterday I was treated by a robin on my clothes line. I haven’t seen one in many years and the other day a sparrow landed on my windowsill and was chattering away to my delight. Give me the birds in the bush any day and must give you compliments on your watercolor. You have captured the beauty of the sparrow


  3. Just the one dead bird in the hand, would definitely be worth two perched in a bush to me! That is always how my green mind sees that proverb ;~)


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