The late-blooming Test newcomer has made great inroads in his four-day Test career and, on Thursday, toyed with the Sri Lankan top order, removing both openers in the first session of his first Test at his hometown ground.
But that dream would've seemed far-fetched when he was plugging away in his early 20s, recovering from injuries and playing fourth grade at Manly as a batsman.
A lack of runs - and opportunities in higher grades with the ball - led to a shift to rival club Bankstown where, for three years, he terrorised batsmen before his junior team came calling.
But he couldn't hang around for long, departing Manly for a second time to seek first-class exposure with Tasmania after NSW didn't offer a state contract.
Former Test paceman Stuart Clark played six games for Manly in 2004-'05 and, although he didn't cross paths then with a young Bird, he has marvelled at his progress in the Apple Isle.
Bird became Australia's 431st Test player when he was named to make his debut on Boxing Day at the MCG and claimed two important wickets in each innings.
"He's only just come into it but you can't do any more than he's doing," Clark told AAP.
"He's getting early wickets - he's bowling well. Everything he's touching at the moment is turning to gold."
Bird and Clark share many traits.
The late Test debut, reliable action and economical styles spring to mind - as does the early comparisons to Australia's second-greatest wicket-taker, Glenn McGrath.
"It's always nice to get comparisons to one of the greats of the game," Bird said after the first day's play at the SCG on Thursday.
"But it's only my second Test match and McGrath took five hundred wickets. (I've got) a lot of hard work to do before I even get close to Glenn but it's nice to get comparisons like that."
Neither Clark nor Bird seem the type to rout a Test batting line-up, instead impressing with their regular wickets coming cheaply.
Clark took just two five-wicket hauls in his career, but his 94 Test scalps cost less than 24 runs apiece.
He admits to being impressed by Bird's canny knack of securing key wickets as he did again on Thursday, removing both Sri Lankan openers to finish with figures of 4-41.
"Very much so, taking key wickets (is a good trait)," Clark added.
"He's done everything asked of him and, from what I've seen, he's bowling really well. He should be proud of what he's achieved."