[CT Birds] Thrushes and Crows

james.bair at snet.net james.bair at snet.net
Mon Jul 19 23:14:07 EDT 2010

Fish Crows have followed the Naugatuck River pretty far up for some time. May 9, 1987, a New Haven Bird Club trip to White Memorial led by Lee Schlesinger had 4 Fish Crows. The parking lot by the Burger King in Torrington (Rt. 202 and Rt. 8) has been a fairly reliable spot for them. Still, it does seem a little strange when you come across them there.

The Hermit Thrush's song is gorgeous. It is mentioned in two of the best-known free-verse poems in the English Language: T. S. Eliot's "The Waste Land" and  Walt Whitman's "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloomed." In the Whitman poem, the bird's song is a major recurring. Eliot's note on the Hermit Thrush in "The Waste Land" says, "Its notes are not remarkable for variety or volume, but in purity and sweetness of tone and exquisite modulation they are unequalled.' Its 'water-dripping song' is justly celebrated."

By the way, a famous poet wrote a poem about songbirds in Connecticut. Longfellow's "The Birds of Killingworth" is not one of his best-known pieces, but it has a certain humorous twist involving stereotypical yankees.

Jim Bair 

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