In the Wind River Canyon, where I live and write the Wind River Canyon Blog, it's spring when certain birds start to migrate into the canyon. Yesterday, Friday the 13th, I observed the very first hummingbird of the season, a Broad-tailed female, on one of the nectar feeders; this is the earliest I've ever seen a hummingbird in the Wind River Canyon! She was driven down into the canyon by the extreme cold of the high-country; it was just before 5:30 in the evening: She is actually on her way north. Two days earlier, the first Orioles (Bullock's Orioles-male) were observed on these very same feeders. I always put a couple out on the 1st of May for these very special bright-orange birds.
Bullock's Orioles are fiercely territorial, both male and female will defend their ground and a certain nectar feeder will remain their own. They love the sugar/nectar that I make in my kitchen, but the feeders must have openings that are large enough for them to shove their substantial beaks into. The male's song is great, but nothing to write a blog about. Here is a short video of a young female Oriole on a hummingbird feeder giving us a beautiful little song; give her a listen, it's less than a minute! The Wyoming state bird, the Meadow Lark, has without doubt the loudest birdsong in the state and can easily be heard from quite a long-distance; they're singing right now, so get out of the house and go for a hike. I've never seen one in the Wind River Canyon, and I couldn't begin to explain why; I've had many people ask me. Their recognizable birdsong is loud and wonderful.
In my crazy-long experience in the field, usually with a camera, my favorite birdsong has got to be the male House Wren. Just the other day, I was sitting with my eyes closed listening to the singing talents of an energetic little Wren. In between his vocalizations he was trying to make another male leave the area....at warp-speed! For hours they will chase each other around at speeds that defy all logic; it's easy to mistake their territorial flights/fights as a hummingbird's, they move that fast. Yet, once it started to rain/snow they gave up all territorial behavior, and nest building by the uninterested female stopped cold: On this cool Saturday, the 14th of May, none of the three Wrens are around at all. Once it warms up next week all singing and nest building will begin again.
The male Wren's birdsong is wonderfully complex, and changes slightly when a female chooses his birdhouse; it changes slightly again when the young are in need of protection; he warns others off with his singing talents. Yet, they're a trusting little bird that you can sit nearby and close your eyes for a listen, too. Here is a video of a male House Wren doing what he does best....give it a listen....or come visit me in the Wind River Canyon to hear one for yourself. All over America birds are singing right now, with many more to come. Find a nice wilderness area near you, wherever you are, and just sit and listen. The call of a wild bird, or even the hoot of an Owl, will enter your soul with a magic beyond understanding. You will be different somehow, and this is the real power of Mother Nature----the power to make us all better caretakers of this little blue marble we call Earth. Take the precious time to let a birdsong entertain you, and see for yourself how a little bird can make all the difference in brightening your day.
*All photographs, videos and writing of the Wind River Canyon Blog by Michael John Balog/Hogbats Photography, Wind River Canyon, Wyoming. All rights reserved.