A Song to Break Your Heart

credit: Kenneth Cole Schneider

Sixty different species of birds regularly visit our farm. Each species sings a unique song (or two...or a thousand).

The Red-eyed Vireo sings 20,000 different songs -- every day!

In contrast, the Song Sparrow, despite the connotations of its name, has a meagre repertoire of just ten songs.

The Dark-eyed Junko is a minimalist, abandoning the frivolity of singing for the utility of morse code, tapping out his calls in snappy clicks.

The Swainson’s Thrush climbs the ladder of her song two rungs at a time, swinging like a trapeze artist from each rung as she goes.

The Barred owl’s daytime call is an escalating shrill so piercing you’d swear he was running his talons across a little blackboard tucked beneath his wing. But you forgive him his spine-tingling alarm when at night the full O of his breathy hoot comes drifting out of the dark like a verbal smoke ring.

The Winter Wren sings as if his life depended on it. Looking like a puff of brown cotton and weighing about as much, ounce for ounce he belts out his song with ten times the power of a crowing rooster.

It’s enough to break your heart.

And mend it.

Who is singing out your window?
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