None of these songs are particularly *beautiful* on the surface, but in reviewing my list I think the beauty in these birdsongs lies in their very personal meaning for me. Each calls to mind a particular time or place or way of feeling. Anyway, here are my ten favorites:
1. Osprey: I anticipate their return each March; their sweet calls overhead are very much a part of any time spent at Sandy Hook.
2. Ovenbird: Not a musical song, but one I love to hear when searching the woods for other spring arrivals.
3. Carolina Wren: A song I associate with the shortening days of autumn, crisp weather, and home.
4. Baltimore Oriole: Hard to classify this song, but easily recognized. Orioles don’t sing much in our neighborhood in spring, but young of the year will practice and chatter throughout July from the treetops.
5. Willet: The one shorebird I can easily identify and a call I love on a spring day at the shore.
6. Great Horned Owl: Reminds me of cold winter nights. I love having these birds in the neighborhood and their calls bring goosebumps and force me to stop whatever I’m doing to listen more closely.
7. Killdeer: The eveywhere bird – background noise – at home, at work, at the shore, in the middle of the night. They return to my area early and their plaintive cries alert me to the changing season.
8. Northern Bobwhite: Sadly, a bird I associate with a few, very specific places. Hard to get to hear in my area, and heartening.
9. White-throated Sparrow: A winter companion and another bird of home.
10. Great-Crested Flycatcher: Another bird I associate with very specific places, but a favorite for some odd reason.