The Dawn Chorus

The Great Kiskadee, leader of the Dawn Chorus. Sitting in the tree outside my room in Costa Rica.

If you have ever paid attention to the sunrise, you will know that with the revealing of light comes the most beautifully composed piece of music, the Dawn Chorus. If you have not paid attention before, I invite you to rise a bit before the sun this weekend, go sit outside on your porch or patio, or simply open a window and then listen. One bird always starts the dawn chorus and that bird is different depending on where you are. Here at my house in South Florida, it’s the Northern Mockingbird who starts it off with a bit of warbling before reaching a crescendo of full-out song, filled with a variety of connected notes. Both times I’ve stayed at the Pura Vida Spa in Costa Rica, it was the Great Kiskadee who squawked one note to start the dawn chorus. Every morning, I would get up at sunrise and sit out on my balcony overlooking the treetops, sipping coffee and watching the world come alive, starting with the dawn chorus. Here is an entry from my travel journal when I was there this past June:

I ♥ the DAWN CHORUS… An hour of the birds greeting a new day, joyous to have made it through another night. Singing to warm up, to establish territory. And then…an hour AFTER sunrise, a flurry of activity as they hunt for food, repair their nests and feed their chicks. Outside my room in Costa Rica at the Pura Vida Spa, the rooster crows at 4:45am. Morning arrives early here. The GREAT KISKADEE perches in a favorite spot with two females. Atop a tree similar to the Poincianas, balancing on a large seed pod, fighting for position with the RUDDY DOVE, who also covets this prime piece of real estate up above the treetops. The swallows glide through the air with such grace, their blue and white bodies flashing as they flit from side to side, over the rooftops and the trees. They are slower in the morning than they are in the afternoon, still it’s difficult to photograph them. Hummingbirds zip through the trees, a rate of speed so fast, one blink is all you get before they disappear into the thick blanket of forest tree leaves. Buzzing, chirping, wings flapping, calls, whistles. These are the sounds of the morning. The sounds of nature. The sounds of sun, sky and earth. The sounds of GLAD TIDINGS for a new day.

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