The summer tanagers are back, about a week earlier than the date I marked on the calendar. I became aware of them back around 2002, and have been tracking their return around April 21 each year. Only a few days ago KDM mentioned that it was time to keep our ears open for their songs. This morning I heard the first unmistakable chirping out of a grove of distant oak trees early this morning, then again about noon.
As the summer draws nearer and deeper, our place is densely graced by the flights and calls of this red bird. During May and June, even into July, one or two of the males would come perched on the fence posts near our bedroom window at dawn, and sing so loudly as to seem piercing the early morning air. Sometimes when I happened to wake up before dawn, I'd wait for their first notes to appear, shaky, sleepy, incoherent , then slowly falling in tune and surging upward. Like a clockwork, they almost always begin at 5:30.
Welcome back, bird of my delight. Sing brightly, sing boldly.