Title: The Birdman of Why The Whales Came
Subheading: A Mysterious Figure
"Not only did [the children] discover he was a birdman, but a birdman of amazing abilities." (p.14)
A mysterious figure who inhabits the mysterious island of Birdholm is the birdman of Why The Whales Came. He is able to interact with the birds, in ways the children never imagined. The children are enamoured by him and they take little time to realise that he has special powers and can do many things like:
* Fly with the birds - "The birdman was flying not directly but almost as if he were directing the birds around him." (p.15)
* Talk to the birds - "[The birdman] seemed to be talking to them as if he were speaking their language." (p.17)
* Know what the birds are saying - "[The birdman] looking straight up at wild geese, seemed to realise just what they were saying." (p.17)
The children learn that the birdman is a man of many secrets. He tells them stories of the mysterious island and its strange inhabitants, but always leaves them with more questions than answers. He is a solitary man and the children take more time to learn more about him, such as his past, his motivations and his connection to the island.
The birdman is a mysterious and fascinating presence throughout the novel and the children come to understand and appreciate the bond between him and nature. He is a gentle spirit, a Father Christmas for the birds, who shows the children the beauty of nature and the importance of preserving it.