A deep layer of snow covers the ground here, in this first week of March and there is more snow falling as I write this. In spite of the snow and cold, I heard the coo-OO-ing of the mourning dove and I am reassured that springtime is on the way.
Perhaps it was the sweet singing outside my window that attracted me. Each spring there would come a morning when the winter began to subside and there was suddenly, it seemed, a symphony outside my window!
When I was a youngster, I had ample opportunity to explore the world of nature. At every chance I would wander off to the woods for countless hours walking and observing. This exploration has lead to a lifetime affinity for nature and the abundance of beauty she offers us. We should all just take the time to see it, hear it and breathe it in deeply.
Maybe it was the honking of the Canada Geese when they returned in spring….or the more mournful sound as they departed in autumn. On the many lakes near my childhood home there were the Canvasback, Northern Pintails, Redhead Loons, Mallards, Teals and other duck varieties. In open fields I could always flush a bevy of Bobwhite Quail, and occasionally a Partridge or two. The Ring-necked Pheasant were more rare. The Great Egret was also a rare find and at the time of my boyhood, the Great Blue Heron was listed as an endangered species. They have since recovered and are seen with greater frequency. Wild Turkeys were sometimes spotted in the forest, but they are elusive because they are hunted by man and critters like the coyote and bobcat. Wandering the woods as a young lad, I had seen them all. They were all part of this natural environment and seemed to surround me.
An activity that piqued my interest at a young age was bird-watching. I think it was my auntie gave me a set of binoculars and that began bird-spotting. Some of the birds were migratory and others were year-round residents of the fields and forests near my home. Using a couple of guide books and my binoculars, I had positively identified a rather lengthy list of birds. Spotting and identifying birds is fun, but photographing birds is a specialty field. It requires extreme-range lenses, costing a lot of money, and a lot of patience. Time and patience of which I have neither. Therefore, it is unlikely that readers will find many if any songbird photos by yours truly.
Here is a link that explains the amazing journey some migratory birds follow. 300 miles a day, from Brazil to Pennsylvania in 13 days is quite impressive!
If you would like to hear the call of each of the birds listed in this short piece be sure to follow the links and click on the sound segment for each bird. There, you can hear mating calls, distress calls and the normal “song – sounds”.