Growing up, I remembering marveling at how much my dad knew about life, the universe and everything. I couldn’t comprehend how he held all that knowledge in his head. While I don’t know the same information he did, I have my own library of knowledge in my head and it’s constantly expanding.
One of the mental encyclopedias I’m most fond and proud of is the one containing my ability to recognize a bird by the sound of their song. As long as I’ve seen the bird before and either heard it singing or listened to its song online, I can usually recognize it when I’m outside. When I know the song, I know the bird and it’s a musical reminder that I’m never alone.
Some days when I walk Jazzmin I hear a variety of songs, while other days I hear only a couple. Last week I took her on a short walk and the only song I heard was from the Eastern Bluebirds. I walked down a total of three roads and on each of them was a pair of bluebirds singing to each other. I hadn’t realized how many bluebirds were around where I lived until I knew their song so well from hearing it coming from the ones in my own yard. I like their song, it sounds very calm and cheerful to me.
Another favorite bird song of mine is the one sung by the Eastern Towhee. I rarely see these birds but I hear them on almost every walk. Their song is unmistakable and resembles a melodic “drink your tea!” that’s warbly and sweet. I enjoy the songs of the cardinals too and find them as pretty as the birds themselves.
While I appreciate all of my feathered family and friends, some of their songs aren’t exactly what I want to hear at 5 a.m. Like this morning when the House Wren and Great Crested Flycatcher were both tittering away in the pine tree by my bedroom window. I’ve learned to sleep through the robins at 4 a.m. and grown accustomed to the cardinals too but other songs jolt me awake. Perhaps the birds have caught on to this and send different singers near my window to help me “rise and shine.”