A Sweet Song


Growing up, my dad taught me to notice birds. He was an avid bird-watcher with his sister, spending hours in the woods during a TV free era. I still can’t recognize the birds like him, but my ears catch tunes. It’s my favorite sound in the morning. I lie in bed and hear them sweetly creating a melody, each sending messages to others. I’ve been hearing a few songs lately and had to ask dad to distinguish a couple.

“What’s the robin’s call?” I asked.

“The robin has 8 different calls,” he said.

“Ok. How about a cardinal?” to which dad proceeded to whistle the call I’ve been hearing. I now know when the cardinal sings and which songs are the robins. 

The Red-winged Black Bird reminds me of traveling to Grandma Kessler’s house. They lined the farm land fence rows and it’s the my first memory of asking what it was. Now, I see them in our own rural area.

The Oriels have been gracing our area. None are nesting in my backyard, but they are feeding at my parents’ home. It was the first thing Mom had to show me on Mother’s Day. Others have been mentioning the delightful orange colored bird too.

House Wren Identification, All About Birds, Cornell Lab of OrnithologyIt’s the little brown House Wren that is my favorite. The sweet twitter taps my eardrums almost instantly. Dad had special bird houses for them to nest (they like just plain, cleaned-out homes, no paint) growing up. He would crack the roof slightly on hot summer days to allow the mother to breathe. I never saw the babies, but their demanding chirps let me know they were keeping mama busy.

A couple of weeks ago, I heard the wren call and then another answer. To my delight, at least two families are in the neighborhood. I don’t have a bird house or a bird feeder (cats remember), but there are bushes and trees. Yesterday, I heard the call and looked out the window. There the two were, perched on the bush and singing. My heart delighted with a full smile. I tried to watch where they flew, but they are fast and blend well in the trees.

Today I captured their call on video. (Click on the link to see the video.) I was trying to find words to describe the song and just decided an audio would be best. Turn up your sound and let your ears delight in the House Wren Symphony 3. And next time you are outside, listen for the sweet song.


10 Responses to A Sweet Song

  1. Sariah Coons Morgan says:

    I love your words. I’m sitting on my deck watching the birds in the backyard. I have a family of Robbins. I also put out birdfeeders and I nailed oranges to my trees. I’m patiently waiting for the finches.

  2. Jen Schwanke says:

    Your post reminded me of my grandfather, who adored birds. I loved reading this; it was a trip down memory lane for me. Thank you!

  3. I love how you take us to a new place with your understanding and knowledge of birds… I love them but not from any clarity… That’s another thing I’d like to know more about 🙂

  4. Leigh Anne Eck says:

    Oh, how I wish I knew birds better. Or maybe I wish I had someone to teach me about birdsong. Your post reminded me of one my friend Christie wrote about bird mnemonics. I think you would enjoy it too.


  5. Julie says:

    I love the detailed knowledge you share in this. I’ll have to pay more attention when I’m outside and hear the birds.

  6. I really enjoy wildlife and birds in particular. “I lie in bed and hear them sweetly creating a melody, each sending messages to others.”I do that, too. How wonderful that your dad passed along his passion.

  7. Wow! I love birds from afar and I”m so impressed with you for your direct conneciton to them from your roots. I have a good friend who also knows his birds… I’m just traveling on your coat tails, okay?

  8. elsie says:

    My backyard is filled with bird songs but I don’t know who is singing (except for that mourning dove and crow). I just said this week I wish I knew the song with the bird.Thanks for the video, I think we have wrens. I can’t believe the robin has so many calls!

  9. tamtomatoe says:

    You were so lucky to be introduced to birds when younger. Being retired, they are the best friends. Finally, we have orioles who love oranges! Yes, being in bed and listening to the birds greet the world are priceless.

  10. anne says:

    MaryHelen, I love the way you capture not only your love of birdsong, but this part of you and your dad’s relationship. Also, the video—you are a multimedia blogger!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: