Saturday, August 25, 2012

August 25: Vireos

For most of the summer the red-eyed vireo's rollicking song has been playing in the background, his warbled, "Here I am. Where are you?" a constant projection from the trees. Because this particular vireo species sings for most of the summer, he provides a non-stop soundtrack to the season, a soundtrack at first accompanied by warblers, orioles, tanagers, robins, and other songbirds, but gradually dwindling down to a handful of goldfinches, chickadees, and titmice providing occasional back-up chorus.

This morning I didn't hear the song, I heard only a vireo's repeated call, a distinctive sort-of whine, almost a complaint. Now the only birds singing in the big oak next-door are the usual flock of goldfinches, probably chattering about which feeder they're going to descend upon next.

No longer singing
even the vireo protests
as summer draws to an end.

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