Monday, March 24, 2014

The Musician

We were able to make a camping trip to Macaya, the second highest peak in Haiti. The boy and I got up early every morning before sunrise, and listened to a bird the Haitians call the Musician. In English we call them the Rufous Throated Solitaire, but the Haitian word is much more fitting. If anyone remembers the Mockingjay from the Hunger Games books, this bird would seem to be the inspiration. When you hear dozens of them singing, echoing from the mountaintops and the valleys, they truly are a symphony.

Since we rose before the dawn, we were already listening when the first birds began to sing. It was fascinating to me. One bird began the music as he sang out his note, and another called back.  Then the others began to join in.  
For the first minute or so they all sang the same note, as if they were warming up, tuning their instruments. Then a brave bird from the other mountain called out with a different note, and so started the song. Higher pitches met with lower ones until they all blended into one perfect melody. It sounded as if there were wind chimes hanging from every peak.

I made a recording. See if you can pick them out among the other birds, the crickets, and the roosters.

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