Well, nature just pulled a Haydn on us this weekend. Franz Joseph wrote the “Farewell” symphony (45th) where the musicians individually leave the stage. This past weekend, most of our “musicians” left our local stage.
Last week was a feeding and calling frenzy for migrating birds around our headquarters and parking lots. Little warblers were falling from the trees pouncing on any tiny insect they saw, some were feasting on fig fruit, others were scavenging underbrush – all in the quest to top off their “gas tanks” before they continued their journey up north. The waxwings have been ransacking our strangler figs for weeks. Their high-pitched vocalizations were a welcome sound each morning as I arrived to work. It is a sound that always brings a smile to my face. Their frenetic flights en masse from one fig tree to another were a sight to see.
This week - relative silence. The warblers have flown. The waxwings appear to be gone: their whistles no longer greet me in the morning. But, the orchestra hasn’t entirely left the stage though, so fret not! The northern parulas are still launching their rising buzz calls into the air. The cardinals are still calling and fussing, mockers are busy mocking, red shoulder hawk calls pierce the heated air, blue jays do their best to sound like the hawks, occasionally the yellow-crowned night herons get disturbed by something and squawk their way to my attention. Finally, the percussion session hasn’t left yet because pileated woodpeckers in our parking lot are busily feeding their fledgling every 20 minutes – and calling to and from each feeding session.
Still, even though the whole orchestra hasn’t left yet, the temporary loss of our migrant friends leaves a big auditory hole in our summer symphony – eventually to be filled in by the drone of cicadas that increases along with our summer heat. I’d rather have the birds...
We're celebrating World Migratory Bird Day with BOGO admission here on Friday, but please, enjoy it wherever you are.
Dave Graff, Education Specialist