Ahh. The ethereal sound of the Wood Thrush. Hylocichla mustelina. Ee-o-lay! My favorite bird song, and this morning, May 2, 2006, they are back. This is the first morning that I have heard this plain brown bird with the flute-like voice and the rusty head in 2006. Wood thrushes prefer mainly deciduous woodlands and I am fortunate to live in such surroundings. I can hear their liquid call echo gently from the woods surrounding my home.
The arrival of the wood thrush means that the Veery, catharus fuscescens, another thrush will be back soon too. This small plain bird also rivals the most beautiful calls in the world with a breezy, flute like downward spiral made with dual voice boxes that harmonize with each other.
Another one of my favorite songs is the song of the Eastern Wood Pewee, a small sparrow-sized flycatcher with a sweet and slow plaintive whistle. Pee-o-wee that slurrs down and then up the follows it with pee-ow. We often connect songs that play on the radio with places and times in our lives. I make mental connections with favorite times and settings and the bird songs I heard. The Pewee I connect with deep woodlands, warm still mornings, many of these coupled with the gentle sound of hooves on the forest floor as I ride my horse through the deep woods. It is times like these that make me glad to be alive, as well as glad to be an early riser.