Friday, March 20, 2009

Bird Song

During my last summer on PEI, before I went off to grad school, I consciously tried to drink in a lot of PEI and appreciate it.

I remember walking in the woods and hearing one particular bird's song. I thought it was lovely. When I later heard it in Ontario, it really meant a lot to hear the familiar tune. Not being a ornithologist, I had no idea which kind of bird it might be.

And so the years went by... I heard the bird in Missouri as well. Now, I have a tremendous affinity for the tune, but really haven't thought much about it.

This week, I heard a podcast where a guy talks about using a sound feature on his digital camera to capture the song of birds while out watching. He played a sample song.

It was the same one.

Now, this may be pedestrian as far as bird-watching goes, but not for me: my bird is the white-throated sparrow. Click here to read about it and to hear its call. It will no doubt be familiar.

Interestingly, a mnemonic for the song is "Oh sweet, Canada, Canada, Canada". That is heart-warming given my station in life when I first took notice.


ps. Other favourite birds include the barn swallow, which are rampant around my apartment. Naturally, most Canadians love the loon: we heard its call all the time on TV growing up (in nature short-films with a hauntingly familiar and surprisingly creepy flute intro), even if not actually in the wild.


Binky said...

Haha, I initially read your opening sentence drink as much as possible in PEI.... What does that say about my state of mind? We only seem to get crows 'round here, especially on garbage day. I think their song translates like "I'm in your trash, makin a mess."

Binky said...

Did you ever read the novel Bird Song? Classic book.