New Voices Join the Song

Posted: Mar. 01, 2013


When we emerged from our homes on the South Shore this morning, three long-lost voices had joined nature’s chorus. One had been silenced by winter’s cold; the other two had traveled south with their bodily hosts.

In a way, it comes as no surprise that Red-winged Blackbirds are among the first birds to return each year – we can’t even say each “spring,” as March 1 is neither calendrically nor spiritually spring. Perhaps it’s too logical, but it seems that “red-wings,” as birders call them, are more adaptable to colder temperatures if just for the fact that while ambient temps are low, their black plumage absorbs sunlight, and therefore helps to warm them.

Perhaps, too, that’s why the Fish Crows were singing today, if you can even┬ácall their nasal squawk a song. But there they were, up in the trees in Hanover. Look for them soon, at your favorite fast food restaurant dumpster. It’s all about habitats and food sources.

But the third voice we heard this morning was that of a winter lingerer, who found nothing to sing about in the doldrums of the season. The Red-shouldered Hawk is a permanent resident of our wet woods and therefore can start singing whenever it gets inspired. And although March 1 is not technically spring, it is the month in which we transition. So why not let fly with a song?

Come on, spring! The dawn chorus is tuning up.