I am wildly terrified of birds. When I was a child I had two very traumatic encounters with birds that I've never been able to shake. It's likely I should see a therapist, but I'd like to take steps on my own first in facing this fear.

As a vegan, I definitely don't want them to die. I respect their place in nature and in no way expect them to cater to my seemingly irrational fear. So I figure what I can do is familiarize myself with the birds I may encounter this summer here in Boise in an effort to appreciate and avoid them accordingly.

I've thankfully yet to notice any pigeons but time on the Green Belt has introduced me to flocks of geese everywhere I turn. They don't seem aggressive unless you're too close, in which case they tend to follow you. I've done my best to social distance myself from them.

The seagulls at Julia Davis Park on the other hand are loud flying horrors. So long as I stay away from picnic areas and trashcans, I'm seemingly safe from them. The screeching and squawking chills me to the bone, however, so I think it best to stay away until I become more comfortable.

The birds I'm finally appreciating are the cutie little ones that fly around the bushes and gardens in my Meridian neighborhood. They're such happy little creatures who chirp in a Mary Poppins way and generally mind themselves. It's a big step that I'm getting more comfortable with them and I think it's just immersion in a neighborhood where they're everywhere.

Hopefully I can graduate to being comfortable with bigger birds around so I'm not in a panic when no one else is affected by their presence. Anyone else scared of birds? Are there any other places heavy with bird traffic that I should know about? Let a girl know!