Harbinger of Spring: morning birdsong

With 37 days of winter remaining yesterday, it didn’t strike me at first when I went out to fill the bird bath, but morning birdsong is back!

Robins and finches (not to mention a squawking blue jay) were making their presence heard in my yard. I didn’t really clue into the return of the morning melodies until I was waiting for my bus to work. From high up in a tree across the street emanated the sweet voice of a song sparrow. Not just chips and cheeps: a full-throated aria was soaring over the rumble of the cars and trucks traveling U.S. 206.

Morning birdsong is a sure sign that Spring is coming, even if it is more than a month until the vernal equinox.

We first paid serious attention to early morning bird songs two decades ago when we lived in Summit, which is about an hour’s drive north of where we live now. With at least one bedroom window open, we’d awaken to the symphony (or was it cacophony?) of the “Jersey birds.”

Living in the Princeton area, we hear more birds each morning as winter transitions into spring. The birds were plenty active again this morning. From the breakfast table, we looked out the window to see two red-tailed hawks sail through the yard in quick succession. The first targeted a squirrel, who tucked into a safe spot behind a tree trunk and, after the second hawk passed, scampered over to another tree and headed toward the safety of his drey.

We are not entirely without birdsong during the dead of winter. The Carolina wrens make sure of that, alerting us each morning with their piercing song that they are masters of the territory and that we are mere tenants.

I shot this photo of a song sparrow through a window after a recent snowfall. I imagine he’s looking forward to spring as much as I am.

Published by Dan

University media executive by day, blogger by night, I am a well-traveled resident of New Jersey

2 thoughts on “Harbinger of Spring: morning birdsong

  1. Great. Thanks for sharing. I think you are so lucky to have that moment. I love the sound of birds singing a lot, this sound makes me feel refreshed and energized to start work, and it is a very beautiful natural sound without any technical skills like the music of people. I don’t often hear birdsong, and I also wish we could hear birds singing on cold winter days but that’s hard, isn’t it.


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