Monday, July 30, 2007

The flute in the woods

A friend asked if I heard wood thrushes at my house and I said I didn't think so. Then, at a supper here in the gorge right at dusk, she said "There's one!"

Conversation stopped for a bit and we listened to the bird do its thing.

It was a familiar song that had simply never had a name for me and now it does.

A wood thrush.

Each individual male wood thrush has his own song and it can sing two notes at the same time. I've been listening more intently to the songs...The vocalizations are fast, multi octave warbles. What a wonderful thing it is to be capable of self harmony. It is the pan flute of the Midsummer Night's Dream and it is common, but the next few weeks will hear it ending for this year, since the males will stop calling once their second brood of the year are completely fledged, from what I've read. And the boys don't seem to like rainy days all that much.

The wood thrush calls at first light and last light, causing one friend of ours to wear earplugs in order to sleep late with the window open. These are friends with houses close to the woods. Even suburbanites have wood thrushes, but I wonder how many ever hear the song?

Or how many, like me, have heard it all our lives and taken joy in it without giving it a name?



Go here and listen to it sing. it's a Flash file so you have to click and click again.


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