As if we needed more proof that birds have long permeated our culture and society: the word inauguration is actually related to birds.
Inauguration comes from the word "augur." Augurs were priests in ancient Rome who were consulted when any important decision had to be made--like going to war, signing a peace treaty, etc. And how did augurs get their magic powers? By looking skyward!! They studied the flight patterns of birds.
In a way, I guess, that makes all of us birders augurs, or potential augurs of the future.
I like this take from the website of the United Church of Two Harbors (Minnesota):
"As we inaugurate a new leader I think it's important to look skyward.
And if we did look skyward, what signs would we see?
• Migration patterns altered by climate change.
• Bird species going extinct at the rate of 10 a year.
• Air pollution, noise pollution, water pollution, and ground pollution all heavily impacting avian life.
• Natural habitats and nesting grounds being destroyed.
What signs, indeed?"
So there you have it. Here's another take.
P.S. - Thanks to Paul B. for passing this along....