Saturday, May 22, 2010

May 22: Grosbeak Opera

The rich, warbling song of the rose-breasted grosbeak is often described as sounding like a robin who took singing lessons. So today when I was standing in the middle of an old farm field swaying with timothy, surrounded by the music of four rose-breasted grosbeaks, I felt as if I were being given a private performance by the Three Tenors. My avian serenade was highlighted by the sighting of one of these beautiful birds. I'm not sure how all those hormone-addled male birds tolerated being so close to one another, but there must have been an invisible territory system in play that kept them all happily singing rather than chasing one another away.

The combination of the heady birdsong, ripe fields, lupines in bloom, and the faint backdrop of cricket music gave this lovely day a sensual summery feeling. Given that summer is officially a full month away, I hope this means we're going to have many more of such moments ahead of us to savor.

Photo by Heather Gerquest (not the bird I saw today)

Thrilling decadence--
grosbeak serenade surrounds
the flowering fields.

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