Mid-May, Evangeline West

“Active but secretive.”

 

Good description of the behavior of the Carolina wren.

 

His song is another matter.

 

5:45 this morning I was at my computer trying to edit a newsletter when suddenly there arose from the dark outside a merrymaking so loud as to make further editing impossible:

 

“GERMANY GERMANY GERMANY!”

 

“CHEESEBURGER CHEESEBURGER CHEESEBURGER!”

 

“GERMANY GERMANY GERMANY!”

 

This curiously timed exuberance went on for ten minutes or so.

 

Finally a mockingbird at the other end of the yard had enough and began one-upping him.

 

“GERMANY GERMANY GERMANY!

TWEEDLY TWEEDLY TWEEDLY!

BEEDLYOOP BEEDLYOOP BEEDLYOOP!

CHEER CHEER CHEER!

GERMANY GERMANY GERMANY!”

 

It was still slap dark.

 

The wren rollicked, the mocker retorted, a top-volume airing of expertise.

 

A yellow-crowned night heron emitted one KOWK.

 

At last they all fell silent. For now.

 

As the sky lightened I heard a nestful of unidentified babies cheeping for their breakfast.

 

The wren cranked up again.

 

Pretty soon the chickadee family rolled out of bed – two parents and four trainees:

“SEE BEE SEE BAY!

CHICKADEEDEEDEE!”

 

Then the blue jay, the REAL blue jay, raised his merry BEEDLYOOP!

 

Later at the kitchen sink I spied Mama Robin starting a new nest in the magnolia tree.  Sticks she brought and shreds of plastic.  Round and round the cavity she ooched, making the perfect circle she’s known for.  A squirrel crept too close.  She erupted into a brick-breasted ball of fury.

 

Now it’s early afternoon. The cardinals are caroling.  A redbellied woodpecker is tentatively tapping the gutter. The wren has resumed.

 

By some miracle I’ve finished my editing.