Sunday, June 17, 2012

Avian Clandestines

The birds are playing urgent birdgames in their leafy hideaways -- warbling full-throatedly in camouflage, then suddenly making a dash for it, streaking from tree to tree.  It’s as difficult to follow as a rugby scrum.

A tiny bird with a voice much too robust for his body  perches on an oak-branch and lets loose his call.  Its structure is fairly complex, with three movements like an old sonata, beginning as a sort of buzz and then a rattle, and at last a burst of chirps (his whole frail body vibrating the while, his little tail bobbing up and down).  At first this sounds inventive;  but then the thing is repeated, over and over, note for note, like a radioman signaling Normandy back in the war …

L’oiseau chante  avec ses doigts.   Une fois.
L’oiseau chante  avec ses doigts …  …

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