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“Nature in the Little Finger Lakes” by Angela Cannon Crothers

Spring Bird Song

By Angela Cannon-Crothers

May 2015

First to appear are the Bluebirds

Upon the wires here

Who pitch their songs proclaiming

Spring, at last, is here.

The geese have all been passing

Overhead for weeks by now

The Red Tail, Sharp-Shinned, and

Vultures, too,

Leave their shadows on the ground.

Then a Phoebe calls its name-song tune

And flaps its tail in wagging;

The promise of a nest below

The hay shed’s timber hanging.

A Robin cheery-o, cheery’s-me

While scratching in dead leaves

As loud as any squirrel might be

Below my bedroom eves.

Pleased-pleased-pleased to meet-you!

A Warbler greats my ear

And if I search him in the limbs

I can see his chestnut-sided tears.

Sweet-sweet-sweet, I’m so sweet

The Yellow Warbler’s sing

Without whose song the cacophony

Would bemoan a sorrowful thing.

The Orioles will hang their nest

Like baskets woven well

So spring has come incrementally sooner

Again—as science does foretell.

Finally when flute songs play

In the deeper woods below

I know the Hermit Thrush returned

Announcing no more snow.

There is a hut-like little home

Built on the forest floor

Where calls a plain brown Ovenbird

Teacher! Teacher! Teacher! he implores.

Zzee-zzee-zzee-zzee zee!

Buzzes a Black-Throated Green

Somewhere at the gully edge

In the evergreen, a vesper unseen.

From high up in the treetops

Another winged-soul’s return

A Red-Eyed Vireo whose endless banter

Is like a Robin without a tune.

The Barn Swallow’s a bully to my

Bluebird boxes I clean out every year

But still devour mosquitoes and bugs

And so we hold them dear.

And if hope is the thing with feathers

That perches in our souls

Then so are the birds who return again

A blessing for us all.

Editor’s Note: Angela Cannon Crothers is a naturalist and writer who teaches at Finger Lakes Community College and with The Finger Lakes Museum. Here are some columns that she has written about the Little Finger Lakes. Her columns also appear in the Lake Country Weekender newspaper.

Visit Angela’s website at: Angela Cannon Crothers

Read the Lake Country Weekender at: Lake Country Weekender