This past spring I visited Maudslay State Park in Newburyport, MA. It was too early for there to be leaves on the trees and snow lingered in certain shady spots. It was overcast that day but I walked back on one of the trails anyway, always eager to explore.
As I crested one of the first hills I heard an unfamiliar bird song. Curious, I followed the sound until I discovered the feathered singer. To my surprise, it was bright red male Northern Cardinal chirping away in a song I’ve never heard one sing in Upstate NY. I stood there watching and listening to him for several minutes before he flew away. I was amazed to realize that even a bird I knew well in NY had a different song in Massachusetts.
During my most recent visit to New England, I was walking through the Wampanoag Homesite at Plimoth Museum and heard a bird song that was familiar and yet not. I again followed the sound and discovered it to be another male cardinal. It was the same song I heard in the spring but it had been long enough ago I hadn’t remembered the exact notes.
I again stopped and listened to him singing and smiled. I always feel different in New England. My spirit feels lighter, more free and more at home. It’s nice to see that the difference I feel isn’t all in my mind as even the bird songs are different in the area that has claimed my heart.