Monday, May 24, 2010

Bonjour, y'all



I read somewhere that, one hundred years ago, the volume of birdsong in the midatlantic was twice the decibel level that it is now. It's hard to imagine, at this time of year, at dawn, how it could be any louder.

Just as the sky begins to get light, the cacaphony of chirps, tweets, whistles and calls is a solid wall of sound. How could it have been twice as loud? I can not imagine.

Sometimes I try to put myself into bird-mind. When I do, I can see how, when the sun rises, the attending birdish emotion is so overwhelming that chirping is automatic, irresistable. I don't believe they're thinking, "Oh. Dawn is coming. Time to sing." I think it rises up in their feathery chests and bursts out all at once. In my imagination, it's like those times when you can't stop yourself from bursting into tears, or can't stifle a big laugh, or the way in which, in musicals, all of a sudden the characters explode into song. In my imagination at least, sunrise birdsong is a dance of shamanic alignment between Brother Bird and Brother Sun.



When I googled the question, "Why do birds sing at sunrise" the answers I found were much less esoteric in nature. I like the idea (uk yahoo answers.com) that they are announcing their location, and specifically at sunrise are letting their fellow birds know they are still there, alive and well, ready for another day.

No matter what the official answer might be, the truth is that morning birdsong is definitely a joyful announcement: Day has once again arrived, and I'm still here. Oh yeah.

23 comments:

willow said...

Oh, boy, am I ever a sap for show tunes. LOVED this!

We bloggers have a way of announcing to our fellow bloggies that we are still alive and well.

Barbara said...

Birdsong is one of those things you sometimes have to listen for. As I read this, the silence around me was replaced by a backyard of singing birds, all announcing that they were alive and well. While stopping to smell the roses, we have to open our ears to hear the birds.

Reya Mellicker said...

Willow, yes we do.

Hugh Jackman is so gorgeous and SO talented. Love all the songs from Oklahoma. Silly plot but who cares? The music is awesome!

The Bug said...

When Dr. M & I got our swing put together & took it for a test drive Saturday night the bird racket was incredible! I decided they were scolding us for sitting so close to their feeders. And I remember a camping trip to Petersburg VA & being awakened at dawn by all that cheerful madness. I also can't imagine it being louder!

Meri said...

I don't know why birds sing, but I do know that their singing is a just reward for getting up early.

Jo Floyd Lucas said...

LOVE that song..."all the sounds of the earth are like music."

Being a life-long morning person (when you are one in a family of eight, you learn early on that the morning is the only time to experience some quiet)birdsong is the herald of the morning to me.

Beautiful post, Reya.

jinksy said...

I enjoyed the cycle shadows that glowed with sun energy in the middle of this post...

Reya Mellicker said...

"All the sounds of the earth are like music."

Oh.
Yeah.

Minka said...

Birds help me get up by singing their songs - it makes me REALLY feel it's time to get up, not like in winter when I feel it's night and I have to get out of bed when I could still sleep for an hour or two.

I couldn't describe their singinig as nicely as you do, though :)

Linda Sue said...

I left the window open all night- this morning at 5:00 the birds were just insane! The dog even told them to knock it off and go back to sleep! Your picture is fabulous- that one over there, with the amazing hair ! SO envious!
The line in Jackman's song "Little brown maverick winking her eye" made me think of Caribou Barbie, yes, quite a cow...

Rick said...

"All the sounds of the earth are like music". That's the one that grabbed me too. I now believe that all of times I've been called a birdbrain, it was a term of endearment.

Tom said...

if you think they are noisy in the city or burbs, try camping out in the middle of the woods...i can never sleep past sunrise in a tent...what a joyous racket!

oh--and the evening screech owls are a hoot too...

California Girl said...

I saw the PBS version of his show on Broadway a few years ago. At that time, I didn't know he could sing and was totally blown away by his talent. I mean, I just thought he was this gorgeous hunk of man in action films. Of course, he's so much more. After he hosted the Oscars or Emmys (i forget which) I realized this is a consummate actor with all the skills.

Some people are not only good looking they are multi-talented too.

Reya Mellicker said...

California Girl? OH YEAH. He is awesome.

Memory Echoes said...

I love that you put yourself in bird-mind. The joy in their song as they greet the rising sun. Just so.

And your hair! I love your hair! To have a silver mane like that!You look beautiful, even if you think you look goofy. I'm a big fan of goofiness anyway (it balances out my serious nature, and I seek it out in others). (Aquarius rising)

Ronda Laveen said...

Hugh Jackman=Show Tunes? Wow! I had no idea. He's one of my faves!

ellen abbott said...

Birdsong is why I love to have my doors open. It's already getting too hot now.

kio said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
steven said...

hi reya, i've thought for the longest time that birdsong at sunrise was to let everyone know they were alive and well and where they were and then the song about the sun itself shows up and then the songs about the songs and then the i'm just so pleased to be here oh and this is my space so leave me to it song. sweet bike colour against the sweet coloured bike stand! ooooh yeah! steven

Delwyn said...

Morning has broken
Like the first morning,
Black bird has spoken
Like the first bird.
Praise the singing!
Praise for the morning!
Praise for them springing
Fresh from the Word!

Sweet the rain's new fall
Sunlit from heaven,
Like the first dewfall
On the first grass.
Praise for the sweetness
Of the wet garden,
Sprung in completeness
Where His feet pass.

Mine is the sunlight!
Mine is the morning.
Born of the one light
Eden saw play!
Praise with elation,
Praise ev'ry morning,
God's recreation
Of the newday!

Happy days

The Pollinatrix said...

I am blessed to live in a very birdy little pocket of the world. Here in Taos, we have a lot of crows (or ravens, never sure about that. Anyway, they're HUGE, whatever they are.) However, here in my little valley there are also a lot of doves, magpies, and other birds, and they are LOUD. I love it. I've never felt so close to the bird world, so immersed in it.

Merle Sneed said...

We have a Great-tailed Grackle that sits on a pole and sings to us every morning. What could be better?

Nancy said...

Is there anything that man can't do???