Saturday, September 24, 2005

words about wood warblers

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I wanted to make a notation about the number of wood warblers I have noticed in the past week.  There are always many spring warblers around here...I have come to know them by their markings and even their song.  It is nice to work in the garden and hear them singing, and notice the voice of a new summer arrival.  This is not so easy with the wood warblers.  They are not as colorful, and usually we do not seem to have many passing through.  However, this fall is markedly different.  I have noticed many of them feeding around the riverrim, and the air is filled with song.  I am frustrated when I hear the beautiful and sometimes complex song of a bird that I cannot identify.  It is difficult to identify a bird purely by it song.  I have read several books on the subject, and even resorted to listening to Petersons (Birding by Ear).  I think I will have to get something that deals specifically with Wood Warblers.

I read recently, that a Spanish version of Birds in North America has been released.  One of the problems they encountered in writing this was in the translation of the voices of the birds. For instance, in English the voice of the Barred Owl says "who cooks for you", but in Spanish it says, "quien concine para usted"...and the meter is lost.  I am sure it is the same with many other languages.
But being able to identify these little birds by their song is important to me.  It increases my awareness of my surroundings, and I am able to observe them without really making a visual spotting.  Face it --not every bird wants you stalking them!
So the fall migration is underway.  And some of the death and destruction that humans experience from Hurricanes Rita and Katrina, will also be felt by the birds that migrate. The affect of these storms is truly far reaching.  The comings and goings of these little birds make me aware of the connections of so many different things.
I wonder if they sense all the changes going on in their flyaway zones... most of them heading for the convergence points along the Gulf in east Texas and Louisiana.  Will the destruction of food sources for them along the way make the difference in life or death for some of them?      
Yesterday, when I went out to open the chicken run, I noticed that an oven bird was inside with the hens.  By the time I went to get the camera, it was gone.  The only thing harder than spotting a wood warbler, is taking a picture of one....which leaves me with only words about wood warblers.
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Judith said...

And beautiful words you have given us about wood warblers. I am attempting to identify the bird songs I hear, not always easy. Definite food for thought regarding the effect the storms will have upon migrating birds.

Leslie Shelor said...

So easy to forget the cost to so many other creatures when the human cost is so high. May your warblers stay safe and return to you in the spring!

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