Archive for blackbirds


The next small thing

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I love this bird. (Photo: w:User:SonNy cZ)

As I have undoubtedly mentioned at some point, there are many moments throughout the year which I await with all the focus of a hunter watching for the tiniest tracks of his prey. Or something like that.

This morning, to my astonishment, I heard the first blackbird of the year.  This is great news, because the few months in which blackbirds sing the sun up are a very big deal to me. Not because of the sun, because of the birds.

The freezingest days of January/February (which have yet to log in, though they’re apparently en route from Siberia) are known as the “giorni della merla” (days of the female blackbird), so considering the curiously mild weather, it does seem a bit early.

No matter.  I heard one distant cadenza this morning. It was brief, it was beautiful, and it was the first.  I’m happy.

Categories : Birds, Nature
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Blackbird concert

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A reader named Alberto recently responded to my lament about the silence of the blackbirds so far this spring (bulletin: I heard two yesterday evening — but the dawn is still voiceless). He said he was thinking of making a video of their concerts.

As it happens, I was so enthralled by the morning recitals last spring that I recorded loads of them. Here is a sample — which I have taken to listening to in the meantime, just so things will seem more normal.  Click here  11042001.

I wonder if playing this really loudly at 4:00 AM would encourage at least one to give it a try.  Or maybe they’re on strike.  If so, they’re the only creatures in the old bel paese, except me and Lino, that have never gone on strike at some point.  I suppose there’s something noteworthy about that.  I wonder if I should put “Never gone on strike” on my resume.

A male common blackbird (Turdus merula) on the island of Gran Canaria, Spain. (photo: Juan Emilio.) The bird obviously has a right to sojourn where he wishes, but hanging around other birds' islands isn't going to keep the operation going here in Venice.

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Categories : Birds
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