Monday, March 30, 2009

The sweet songs of spring

Spring announces itself in birdsong. All winter, we've heard chickadees and bluejays and dear mourning doves, but when March comes along the air is filled with songs of the American robin, the red-winged blackbird, and the American woodcock.

addendum: I did not take the photographs.


  1. They look very beautiful. I have a lot of blackbirds with lovely voices in my garden but they don't have those spectacular wings. English blackbirds are plain black, unless they are female and then, of course, they are brown!

  2. When we first moved to New Mexico, I worked in a school in the southern part of the state where over half the kids spoke Spanish only. One day I was reading a story about signs of springtime (written by Jan Brett up in Massachusetts) to a group, and showed them a picture of a robin.

    One little girl, though struggling with her English, was nevertheless determined to correct me. I wish you could have heard her sweet voice saying, No, Miss, winter bird!

    And of course she was right--the robins come down here for the winter and return north for spring.

  3. Maureen, we have cowbirds and grackles and starlings which are probably all in the same family. But those redwings are so wonderful. I hope you could click on the name to hear their sound. All three bird songs fill my heart this time of year. They make me feel expectant and hopeful for I know not what, but it's a great feeling!

    Clair, isn't that a great story! Thank you for telling me. I loved it.

  4. "Ette" here! Love this post! I have been enjoying the return of all the song birds, and the robins this time of year bring a smile to my face. Even though we were greeted with a covering of snow this morning after a night of hard rain, those robins were outside bouncing around and bobbing for worms. Despite the white stuff, I felt that sparkle of spring in seeing and hearing our feathered friends. I can't wait to play the birdsounds at home. My 2 cats come running into my room to see where those birds are! They jump up on the window pane, and then stare back at the computer speakers and wonder.

  5. In Alabama the robins came for the winter and left in the spring, too. Grandaddy always said "When martins move into the martinbox, it's a sure sign of spring."

    The martinbox was an elaborate birdhouse just for martins.

    Of all the migrant birds who came through, the most spectacular were the buntings, who hardly stayed long enough to be seen--indigo, and rarest of all, the painted bunting! I wish you could see one!

  6. Clairz' story about the little girl correcting her on the robin made my day. And, Nan, your bird photos and songs made for a delicious icing on the cake.

  7. Hey ette, cy here. :<) We put away our Sorel winter boots so it simply cannot snow any more, right?! I love thinking of the kitties listening. My old Sooty somehow snuck outdoors this morning for a couple of hours, and is beside himself today. I'm sure he is proud.

    Mary Lois, I think I read recently that Purple Martins are on the decline and they don't know why. I love those houses. I have seen them occasionally in my neck of the woods, but I've never seen the bird itself. And I'd love to see a bunting in person. We had an Oriole show up for a few minutes one time, and bluebirds a few minutes longer, but we are just too cold, and maybe woodsy, for them.

    Donna, that was such a good story, and I thank you!

  8. Robins abound and rabbits, too. Bring on the Spring weather!

  9. Mare, I know so many complain of the damage rabbits do to their gardens, but I adore them and wish we had more. Maybe we are just too much in the woods for them. Once in a while we spot one, and we see tracks during the winter. And then for a couple years one would appear at twilight each evening. "Silflay" - isn't that the term from Watership Down? That book sold me on rabbits forever!

  10. What fabulous photos, Nan! Did you take these with your fancy camera? They're quite good!

    We're seeing a lot of robins now, but I haven't seen any red-winged blackbirds yet. I do love those. They remind me of summer!

  11. Colleen, that they are!

    Les, I did NOT take the photos! I found them online. I just added a note to the entry in case others thought they were mine.


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