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PRI's Environmental News Magazine

BirdNote ®: Vernal Equinox

Air Date: Week of March 21, 2014

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A male Ruby-Crowned Kinglet (© Greg Thompson)

Though it seemed to many of us in the north and central US that winter would never end, spring has at last truly sprung, as Mary McCann and many birds celebrate in Birdnote®.

Transcript

CURWOOD: Well, though winter has seemed truly interminable this year in parts of North America, the calendar tells us it's not so. Indeed, that yearly miracle marked in the heavens - spring - is now truly with us as Mary McCann and some other creatures celebrate in today's BirdNote®.

MCCANN: Ahhh, the first day of spring . . .at last! Let’s step outside and greet the new season. Clearly, the birds know somethin’ is up. Listen to that Bewick’s Wren belt it out.


Bewick’s Wren in full song (© Tome Grey)

[BEWICK’S WREN SONG].

The wren doesn’t know the precise instant of the vernal equinox, of course. It’s the moment when the sun is directly above the equator, and day and night are nearly equal all over the world. Yet the wren senses the growing hours of daylight through a surge of hormones. It’s time to sing!

[BEWICK’S WREN SONG]

Both science and folklore tie Spring to the renewal of nature, as the world awakens from the long cold winter.

[SPOTTED TOWHEE SONG]


Spotted Towhee Singing (© Tom Grey)

A Spotted Towhee shouts out its burry notes.

[SPOTTED TOWHEE SONG WITH MULTIPLE NOTES].


A female Ruby-Crowned Kinglet (© Greg Thompson)

And, wow! There’s a tiny Ruby-crowned Kinglet, flashing its red crown. Listen to its song bubble forth.

[RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET SONG].

Now there’s a comical sound, coming from the marsh. It’s a Virginia Rail, unseen but hardly unheard, ringing in the new season.

[OINKING PHRASE OF VIRGINIA RAIL VOCALIZATION].

Spring has sprung. The birds declare it official.


A Virginia Rail calling (© Greg Thompson)

[RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET SONG]

I’m Mary McCann.

[http://birdnote.org/show/vernal-equinox-west
Written by Bob Sundstrom
Dawn song recorded in Redmond WA by Martyn Stewart, naturesound.org
Other bird audio provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Songs of the Spotted Towhee and Ruby-crowned Kinglet recorded by G.A. Keller. Bewick’s Wren song recorded by M.D. Medler. Call of Virginia Rail recorded by W.L Hershberger.
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Chris Peterson
© 2014 Tune In to Nature..org Narrator: Mary McCann]

CURWOOD: To see some photos of all the birds singing so joyfully in today's BirdNote®, hop on over to our website LOE.org.

 

Links

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