Bird Song…

I greet the day early each morning listening to bird song when I’m in the country—chirping, whistling, trilling as the sun rises. The birds tweet all around me, warbling up and down the musical scales with their own rhythms and melodies. I don’t see many of the birds, except when the bird feeder is full. They are high in the trees, occasionally swooping out over the river then disappearing again. All the while they continue their songs and conversation among themselves and to each other.

This week I came across an app on my phone that will identify a bird by its photo or by its sound. I’ve downloaded this electronic savant and now aim my phone and its microphone towards the dominant sound and am given the name of the bird. I’m still deciding if I’ve taken the magic away from my moments or have enriched my morning. I now know I’m serenaded at various times  by House Wrens, Bluebirds, Mockingbirds, Blue Jays, Brown-headed Cowbirds, Bobwhite Quails, Purple Marlins, Wood Thrushes, Chickadees, House Sparrows, Western Meadowlarks, Kingbirds, Flickers, Merlin’s, Tufted Titmouses, Sandpipers, Golden-crowned Kinglets, a Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Anna’s Hummingbird, a Great Blue Heron, an Osprey and some days a Cardinal and Crows and at night by a Great Horned Owl, a Barred Owl, a Screech-Owl, a Pygmy Owl and now an Alder Flycatcher. Could there really be that many different birds?  I’ve been adding names and sounds ever since I downloaded the app and each day record new bird songs.

As autumn arrives, the sounds will be enhanced by ducks and geese who will arrive for the winter. I wonder if the birds distinguish among themselves and their flocks? Do they talk only to their own or also to each other? They often sing at the same time with the sounds layering on each other like some celestial disco. Do they compete for space in the skies and trees? Or do they party and sing together?

Ornithologists no doubt have the answers, or at least informed observations. Over time, I’ll read more on my new app about these birds and their habits. For now, I’ll keep the birdfeeder filled and try to enjoy my flighty neighbors with more knowledge and appreciation though maybe with some of the symphonic magic drawn from the morning.

Listen to morning bird sounds on YouTube


  1. Deena on July 18, 2023 at 10:39 am

    Lovely 😍 Bird songs are enchanting (except crows…which sound to me like they are yelling at each other)…😊

    • Joanne Leedom-Ackerman on July 18, 2023 at 11:19 am

      Thanks. We do have crows but in this instance, a friend and I tried to imitate birdsong & the app identified us as the crows!

      • Maryann Maconald on August 3, 2023 at 7:34 pm

        Ha! I have a birdsong app, too. Fun to use in Central Park, especially in migration season.

        • Joanne Leedom-Ackerman on August 8, 2023 at 7:08 am

          Central Park must be a bird symphony!

  2. Mary on July 21, 2023 at 12:06 am

    I listened to a Great Blue Heron call after I read your piece. It was peculiar and eerie — like a squeaky door to another universe.

    • Joanne Leedom-Ackerman on July 23, 2023 at 8:20 am

      Yes. It is spectacular to listen to all the voices, different sounds at different times and often on top of each other with a few creaky doors, some scratchy caws and often heavenly melodies. I don’t know how and if they hear each other and if it is a conversation or all trilling at once.

  3. Bonnie Raphael on July 22, 2023 at 12:29 am

    I go outside and sit to listen each morning too. So many different sounds!

    • Joanne Leedom-Ackerman on July 23, 2023 at 8:22 am

      The app I’m using is called Picture Bird and I remain amazed that there are still more voices identified which I’ve added to this post as they speak up.

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