As is usual, this morning, I arose, ate Bob's Red Mill oatmeal with bananas and other fruit and went walking and birding in the dark. Even an hour before sunrise, the songbirds, especially this time of year when attracting a mate and establishing territory is vital, are exceptionally active.
The first avian I heard was a mockingbird, belting out his song in a field off our rural road. Soon two male cardinals began dueling by song, each, in effect, warning the other to stay away from his little patch of turf.
Two weeks ago, we had woodcocks doing their mating dance high in the air, but they have flown north. But we had another transient visitor a few days ago, a hermit thrush. He has been singing his flute-like melody - an incredibly beautiful one.
Like the woodcock, the hermit thrush will not be here for long. Soon he will wend his way north and our breeding season wood thrushes will return. As melodic as the hermit thrush is, I feel that the wood thrush sports the most sublime song of all our songbirds.
Of course, the song I enjoy hearing the most is not often thought of as a song, but it truly is - the booming gobble of a male turkey. Which reminds me, I should go outside right now and see if I can hear any toms sounding off. Turkeys have been behind the house for five straight mornings - will today be number six?