Wood Thrush and Summer Tanager

Early this morning (but maybe not quite early enough for the real first flush of birdsong) I opened the window beside the bed and lay back down and listened to birds singing – an Eastern Phoebe – often the first to sing; Northern Cardinal, a Tufted Titmouse that sang peter-peter so close and loud and repeatedly it became monotonous. Yellow-rumped Warblers, a Red-eyed Vireo, Brown Thrasher, Carolina Wren, Pine Warbler, House Wren, Brown-headed Nuthatch (not singing, but chattering), Eastern Towhee, the mews of Cedar Waxwings, whinny of a Downy Woodpecker – and then, miraculously, came the fluted notes of a Wood Thrush. It wasn’t close, but the haunting ee-oh-lay was unmistakable. As it sang, far away even to begin with, it drifted even further away, fading into the distance like the Wood Thrush in our lives – once a song I heard very often in the summer woods here, but now they are much less common. Still – not to complain – it’s beautiful to hear.

Much later in the morning, I heard the song of a Summer Tanager for the first time this season, singing somewhere near the edge of the woods, though not close enough for me to see it. Still later, sometime in the afternoon, the soft pik-a-tuk calls of a Summer Tanager laced through the trees around the back yard, another welcome, summery sound.

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