Saturday, May 8, 2010

May 8: Black-throated Green Warbler

This morning my husband came in from fishing on the river behind our house to report that not only had he caught an auspicious seven trout, but he had also heard his first black-throated green warbler of the season. These portents put him in good spirits, because, as he puts it, today is the second biggest day of his life after our wedding day: this afternoon sees the launching of his first novel at a book party being held for him at the home of a best-selling novelist here in Camden.

But I'll leave the topic of his novel's publication for his blog. In addition to being excited for him today, I was happy to hear about the black-throated green warbler. And even happier when about an hour later I heard its languorous, buzzy song from within the shining green cave of leaves and lawn that has become our back yard: "Zee zee zoo zee."

I love to teach people the song of the black-throated green warbler, because it's easy to learn and during the spring and summer the birds are commonly heard around here. Also, for those who don't realize it's a common bird, its name sounds very exotic. The warbler is eye-catching, as well, though small enough that you have to do a bit of looking. You won't recognize it as a visitor to your backyard feeder. Its bright yellow face is framed at the neck by a black throat that contrasts strikingly with its white underparts.

Photo by John Harrison 

The BT green sings long and loudly throughout the day, well into the summer. The variant of its song heard via the link above is often transcribed as, "Trees, trees, murmuring trees." For me, that song conveys the essence of walking in the local woods on a summer day amid the murmuring trees, an image I embrace on this rainy spring morning.

On this rainy day
warbler sings, "Zee zee zoo zee"--
promise of summer.

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