This year we’ve had a Wood Thrush living in the woods near our home — possibly a nesting pair, but I’ve only seen one. Like all thrushes other than Robins, this one is a skulker. I’ve never seen one out in the sun as in the picture above, from www.naturesound.com/birds/. The few times I’ve seen ours have been near dusk, coming to our little pond for a drink and a bathe.
The song of the Wood Thrush, however is…magical. I think it’s my favorite bird call. It’s been described as “flutelike,” which is a fair starting place, but if you listen carefully you’ll hear things no flute player could ever manage. Here’s an audio sample from the National Geographic bird songs CD:
Wood Thrush mp3
This was recorded quite close to the bird, which is fine for identification, but in real life you’d be farther away, hearing the song seem to echo through the trees like an aria in a concert hall. I think it’s an effect inherent in the song, as other bird calls don’t have that echo.
Our thrush has been calling frequently since arriving in May, but his songs will taper off soon as nesting season ends, and we’ll be unlikely to hear them in August. And who knows if he’ll be back next year, assuming he survives migration. So, I’m happy to enjoy it each time I hear it now, and it always pulls my attention away from whatever petty problems I’m dealing with to savor a sound of pure enchantment.