These early spring mornings the birds are singing, but the singers are not always in peak form. For example, our brown thrashers (two more arrived on Tuesday) are only just now playing their way into shape after several days of half-hearted effort. The bramble patches now ring with that special thrasher sound. Amazing what a little competition, a bit brighter daylight, and a shot of testosterone will do. Game ON!
We have a lot of eastern (rufous-sided) towhees here on the farm this spring, including one with a decidedly unmusical drink-your-tea call. This particular male towhee looks for all the world like a full-adult, so I'm not sure it's his youth that makes him sing this way. His song has more of a buzzy, metallic quality than our other, bright and musical towhee calls. Mr. Metallica's territory seems to be in the edge of the woods along our north boundary, behind the garage.
Our final notable performer this spring is a young red-winged blackbird who has the perfect song, conk-a-reeee! of an adult male, but still wears the streaky-brown plumage of a young bird. It's as if his suit is still at the dry cleaners, but he's showing up for work anyway.