The Ozark cantata

2007 May 12
by David J. Ringer

GREENE CO., MO. — Birdsong surrounds me completely. The world, though scarred by winter’s blind fury, is green again.

Robins sing continually, their complex melodies inviting deeper contemplation. But a House Wren’s rich gurgle interrupts, and the papa bluebird defends his turf against grazing starlings.

Goldfinches, Chipping Sparrows, cardinals, Red-bellied Woodpeckers, and House Finches — I hear them all as chickadees and nuthatches frolic.

From deep in the woodland, a Carolina Wren is singing; earlier, it was a Bewick’s. And now, a Chipping Sparrow has landed on the porch next to me, uttering a sharp, repeated note.

The young House Finch, fuzzy plumes still softening its head, has left, but now a thrush sings somewhere in the trees. I couldn’t say which thrush it is — this is a gap in my knowledge.

Pewees, hummingbirds, tanagers, waxwings. Chimney Swifts, a nighthawk. And always, the unbroken song of robins. While the males sing, a female gathers grasses just below the bluebird box.

Certainly, there is much to love about Texas. But I’d forgotten how much I miss Missouri.

Related posts:

  1. A living ember
  2. Home birds
  3. Solstice
  4. Pulling up roots again
  5. Rufous Hummingbird overwintering in Ozark, Mo.

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