Saturday, October 3, 2009

In the Absence of a Rooster . . .

A sample of a few is not enough to determine the answer to my continuing quest to discover who is the first bird to sing in the morning. But it is enough to tell me I need to learn more about the variant chirps of the species in this backyard. After 4 mornings of focused listening from 6:45-7:45, I've learned mostly that the city's answer to crow of rooster is peel of siren, both police and fire, and that birds wake up slowly, not unlike people.

This 1/3 acre of backyard is tucked cosily into a surrounding length of woods that cover an estimated ten acres from end to end, according to Moe. The woods, aside from being lovely, dark and deep, are the reason for the wealth of wildlife we are privileged to see and hear, even in an urban area. I have wondered if it is the more concentrated, precisely because of the city around us, and I admit to an earlier misconception that we are insulated from city's noise and hustle. Relative to city central, I suppose we are, but these past two years of "paying attention" to the backyard have made me ever aware of the assault that urban development is to natural environment. Yet the animals and trees carry on as best they can, adapting to a point.

The immediate point is that the early morning traffic of Ponce and Scott prevented me from hearing the first soft sounds of waking birds, though a first-stir pattern did emerge---that of barely audible chirps just before 7:00---single syllables---some higher, some lower---some gutteral, some flutelike---from randomly scattered places in the surrounding trees, increasing in number by the minute, then erupting into multiple calls and songs almost precisely at 7:15. More on this tomorrow. dkm

No comments: