Dillard Audubon

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John James Audubon and Annie Dillard both describe the flights of the flocks of birds the see, incorporating their feelings about the experience into their observations. Audubon approaches his flock's peculiarity with a methodical and scientific view and is mostly amazed with the unusualness of the pigeons but Dillard's experience of watching the flock of starlings expresses a spiritual and sensational side of bird watching. Audubon firsts writes the place where he saw the pigeons: "in passing over the Barrens a few miles beyond Hardensbug, I observed the pigeons." Also, Audubon immediately states the birds he saw and the direction of the flight, "from north-east to south-west." Only a scientist studying birds, records the time, place, and direction of flight and also no initial details about the birds are described, but his fascination with the unusualness of the pigeons is: "I observed the pigeons flying... in greater numbers than I though I had ever seen them before." He does not just want to watch them; he has "an inclination to count the flocks." Dillard's observation is less scientific and more poetic. She first says, "Out of the dimming sky a speck appeared, then another, and another." She grabs the attention of the reader immediately by not revealing what the speck is until her next sentence: "The starlings [are] going to roost." She beautifully describes the passage of the flock in relation to her. The birds fly gracefully across the sky, unraveling in longer curves, fluttering and randomly blobbing. Dillard enjoys the starlings unpredictable flight pattern but knows that the reason for the apparent randomness is just "that's how starlings fly." She had no desire to explain why this happens because she focuses on the beauty of what she sees.

Audubon's experience frustrates the scientist in him because he is unable to produce any scientific observations from the pigeons; while Dillard fully appreciates the chance she received to see the starlings....
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