I like the thought that birds aren’t singing but are chatting back and forth about where to find the best seed and gather supplies for their nests.
Not singing. Not conversing. Chatting.
The active placement of the word in my mouth feels more fitting, more quotidian to a bird’s world.
Chatting isn’t idle; it’s informative. It quickly gets to the nuts and bolts, skipping the how-are-you-but-I’m-not-listening fluff and jumping right into what matters as they take stock of life from their perches in the evergreens.
Chatting is honest yet light.
“Hey Fran, I noticed Lizzie’s right wing isn’t as strong as her left. Have you thought about vitamins?”
“Marge, I ran out a week ago and Tommy hasn’t had time to gather more. The new nest took a while to complete this Spring. He’s catching up on sleep. I normally get the vitamins but 2020 wore me out, you know?”
“Honey, you know I know. I’ve got some extra iron and calcium tucked away. I’ll fly them over. Just give me 5 minutes to get JohnJohn settled in for a nap.”
“Thanks Margie. You’re a flight saver. The Jefferys put this new seed in their feeder but it’s a seed Lizzie can’t digest. We’ve had to make do with what’s around here. I wish they’d realize we haven’t been by for a while, but you know how it is with humans.”
“Well, they can at least tell the females from the males. Progress from ‘All Cardinals look alike,’ right?”
“I suppose. Well, I’d better get back to Lizzie. Fledglings these days are much more sensitive than we ever were. The pediatrician is flying in to run an allergy test. Thanks again for your help.”
“Alright Fran. See you in a bit.”
…and you thought all along they were serenading us with some Ave Maria.
> for a previous piece about the human voice, see this post: https://wordhabit.com/a-strange-friendship/