I guess ever since life as we know it began, it has been the unofficial duty of birds to greet the coming of a new day and acting as an impulse to people to get moving with the increasing daylight. And for many centuries, since humans began raising hens for eggs and food, that has been one of the functions of the male, the rooster proclaiming his territory. So it remains in much of the world.
The last couple of mornings I have woken with the birds. No, not the crowing roosters; those aren’t allowed in the city – they might disturb some people. However, nature provides her own birds. Most mornings it is robins, often sparrows, occasionally cardinals.
This morning was a combination of all three. Before four o’clock, hours before the sun was scheduled to rise and without even a hint of daylight touching the eastern skies, one robin placed himself (yes, it’s always the male) on the utility wires leading into my house just below my bedroom window and began to shout his half-dozen-or-so note song. More than loud enough to wake me. Loud enough to disturb several males in neighbouring territories who felt compelled to answer. I didn’t have the heart to complain or shush them. Birds being birds, as they should. I was grateful enough that, after a trip to the bathroom, I could go to sleep again.
When I did get up a little later, dawn was breaking. The robin at my bedroom window had seemingly moved on. When I got downstairs and began making coffee, a different wake up call came through the kitchen window. My neighbour has a locust tree in a corner of his yard, and this morning a bright red (male, of course) cardinal had claimed a perch there and was whistling his song to the sun, his challengers, me, and all the rest of the world.
I don’t know whether or not to feel blessed by this multitude of bird calls urging me on and motivating me this morning. Perhaps I should wait for the morning visit by a flock of chittering sparrows.
Ah, well. They may banish roosters from city back yards but they can’t stop birds from singing: Good morning, may your day be bright and cheerful!