Birds sing, call in complex, harmonious arrangements of notes. In 1-line repetitions resembling a ringtone, a symphony. Listening, we’re stirred, envious of birds ability to produce what Shelley called “profuse strains of un-premeditated art.”
We’ve tried to write down what we hear when birds sing. Poets have put birdsongs in verses (Nashe: Cuckoo, jug-jug, pu-we, to-witta-woo). Ornithologists have transcribed bird sounds methodically. Bevis offers a lexicon of words of birds. 7 distinct variations of ‘hoo’ attributed to 7 different species of owls. From a simple ‘hoo’ to ambitious ‘hoo hoo hoo-hoo’! Understated ‘cheet’ of Tree Swallows, resonant ‘kreeaar’ of Swainson’s Hawks, modest ‘peep peep’ of Meadow Pipit.
With an evocative appreciation of birds, birdsongs, humans attempt to capture melodies, words in music, poetry, art. An engaging account, methods to document birdsongs – field recordings, graphic notations, mechanical devices like Serinette. An instrument to teach song tunes to song-birds. Singing of birds is nature at it’s most sublime, serene, soft.
A sweet read for nature, bird lovers, written by John Bevis.