By Phyllis Galowitz

One day, last week, (the week of May 14th) I awoke to noisy, clattering birdsongs. It was a warm, beautiful day, after several cold, gloomy ones and the whole garden seemed to be waking up, finally, after a cold early Spring. Leaves were opening on the trees, buds erupting on bare branches, daffodils opening one after the other, buds on lilac bushes about to burst—it was all happening at once! You could see things growing and greening, almost minute by minute, and, while I looked through the glass doors in my kitchen, my eyes went from one area of activity to another.

A house wren couple were moving into the birdhouse, nestled between some evergreens and I could see the head of one peeking out of one of the entrances, while its mate scampered among the nearby bushes, collecting sticks to bring inside to line their nest, preparing for the family to come. He seemed to be working hard but, at the same time, singing along with his mate, at the top of their tiny lungs. What a ruckus they made for such small birds. It was as if they made up for their size and lack of color by their enormous voices!

In the meantime, a robin, walking through the grass beneath the birdhouse was gathering things suitable for the nest she (or he) was building, and, on the back porch, where the hummingbird feeder hangs from a pole, those miniscule, ruby-throated hummingbirds flew from perch to perch, drawing in the sweet water that they seemed to need to energize their amazing flight.

A couple of grey catbirds live in the bushes, also under the birdhouse. They seem very busy as well.

As I’m writing this, a female cardinal and a goldfinch couple are visiting the feeder that they remember contained those delectable sunflower seeds, but, lo and behold, the chipmunks, and the red and gray squirrels had been there earlier, wrapping themselves around the pole, feasting on every last seed, spilling some onto the floor and then doing a remarkable job vacuuming them all up! I can’t seem to keep the feeders filled. Poor birds.

Several years ago my daughter, Amy, gave me a wonderful gift, Birds of New York, with an accompanying Audio CD. I can look at the photo of the bird and hear the song of each one. I was playing the Audio this morning, trying to remember the different bird calls, with Lili (my cat) sitting on my lap. As the sound came on, Lili jumped up, climbed into the music cabinet, looking for whatever was making those tantalizing sounds, jumped onto the speakers, but, unable to find the source, settled back in my lap, her ears moving back and forth, in time to the sound .~