I looked up, and there was a bird in the tree. It was big, the size that would normally move the branch, drawing my attention to it. But this bird was absolutely still. Its eyes were closed. It was sleeping.
Since it was so still, I could examine it closely through my binoculars, and I did. Its face was whiskery. Its beak drooped downwards. "Drooped" seemed a better word to me than "hooked," though that word came to mind too. Its markings reminded me of snakeskin, or bark. The coloring blended right in with the branch where the bird snoozed. Its tail was sort of squared off at the end. I took some pictures with my phone but they were terrible, too far away, useless to show any of the details. I scrolled through the Merlin app looking for pictures that resembled this bird in the least, but I couldn't find any. What on earth was it?
Two guys saw my husband and me staring up through our binoculars and they came over, eager to help. "Zwazo," one said wisely. Bird. Yup, I knew that already.
We watched the motionless bird for about half an hour, but finally decided we needed to leave. In the car, I scrolled Merlin some more, and then grabbed the book I'd brought with me, Birds of the Dominican Republic and Haiti. A friend left it for me when she was evacuated to the US at the beginning of COVID. I opened the book, and there, there was the bird, the exact bird I'd been staring at. There it was, looking at me from the page, because in the picture the birds, male and female, were awake.