Thursday, July 01, 2010


One of the many things I love about this time of year—along with evenings that stay light until nearly 10:00PM, mornings that completely emerge from darkness by 5:00AM, and days like this where I can putter about all morning and be ready for a nap before noon—is how inundated my little neighborhood is with all kinds of songbirds.

I’m not very adept at identifying them, but I know vaguely that there are robins, chickadees, juncos, sparrows, warblers, vireos, wrens, crows, jays, goldfinches, and, of course, the ubiquitous starlings, that even I can pick out as they stroll across the lawn, their yellow beaks prominent.

I’m pretty sure that the early risers are the black-capped chickadees; as soon as the sun begins to creep over the Cascades, they start their morning song. The other night it was hot enough (for about the first time this unusually cool and wet summer) to leave the windows open all night; at 4:30, the symphony began and it was so loud I had to get up and close them in order to get back to a fitful sleep.

The robins are the most relentless; there’s always one sitting on the edge of a branch somewhere making its characteristic warble. The sparrows are the loudest, when they all get together and take over a tree. And the flicker that hangs out in the dead tree at the end of the alley is the most impressive, especially when he does his rat-a-tat-tat drilling for whatever it is he’s drilling for.

Someday, I hope to take a class in bird identification; seems to me that in the post-apocalyptic future, we’ll want to be able to know which birds are left and what their songs and activities are telling us about things. Of course, identification will probably be easier then since there will only be a few species left: crows, naturally, pigeons, for sure, and if we’re lucky, maybe a seagull or two, visiting.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's ok, they all taste like chicken

1:13 PM  

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