Winter Birds III - Pishing

     It's a morning walk with the dogs.  Above me a group of birds is chattering in the winter woods, probably foraging.  I want to see who they are, see if they'll come down to me, and so I call to them.  There's nothing mystical about this; I use a technique known to birders as "pishing", an onomatopoetic name for the sound that seems to agitate the curiosity of songbirds.  Pishing works best during the breeding season when the birds are highly alert to territories, mates and competitors.  However on this out-of-season morning, this social group of chickadees couldn't resist coming to see what was going on.

     It's kind of a crude way of interacting – there's no finesse about it.  I stand, feet heavy on the ground, feeling inelegant and graceless among these quick and untethered beings.  But to call and have a response from a wild creature is thrilling.  My sense of myself changes, and the thin strand of my ancient wildness rises to meet the birds who have come to see who calls.

1 comment:

  1. I needed a winter pick-me-up and remembered your blog. And, it did just that-always a reminder that underneath the snow and in spite of the cold, life goes on.

    Not sure why I'm still not getting the feed but will try again.