Bird songs are a critical communication tool for our feathered friends.
A bird’s song is key for finding one’s way through a thick forest or scouting one’s mate. It can be a warning or an invitation. It can be original or imitated. (A starling that lived at a train station would mimic the conductor’s whistle so well that a train could depart the station, based on the starling’s call.)
Birds generally have from 5-14 different sounds, and the nightingale has as many as 100-300 song types. None of these sounds are designed to delight people; they just happen to be a lovely side effect for us.
We will consider the nightingale as we wrap up our series, “Consider the Birds.” The nightingale’s song is often quoted in literature as a metaphor for love, beauty and poetry itself. Shakespeare compared his love poetry to the song of the nightingale.
Song can strengthen our heart and help us gain power and spirit. The nightingale teaches us that songs can move us through fear and beyond. They sing at night, when it is darkest.
The Song of Solomon makes that point, poetically. .
“The winter is past; the rains are over and gone.
Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come,
the song of the nightingale is heard in our land.”
May you hear the song that lifts your spirit and find joy this day!