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New Hampshire Birds Singing Spring Songs

Black-capped chickadees in flight
Black-capped chickadees in flight
Brad Sylvester

Birds typically have several different calls or songs that they use for different purposes. When a threat is present or a bird is startled, it will often react with an alarm call warning others in the area of the potential danger. Generally, the most complex, musical bird songs are reserved for mating season. These are the songs of spring and summer.

Even though birds may be present in our backyards all year long, their summer songs disappear during the winter. When we start hearing them again, we know that in the bird's mind, at least, spring has arrived. Such is the case now. Just this week, the black-capped chickadees and tufted titmice in my own backyard have returned to their summer songs.

Across the state, bird watchers are reporting hearing summer songs from Eastern bluebirds, red-winged blackbirds, and the elusive American woodcock performing their intricate night time aerial displays. With the potential for another substantial snowfall coming this week, it is comforting to hear these musical reminders of the warmth to come.

Speaking of reminders, if you live in an area where there is the possibility of black bears living nearby, you should be putting away your bird feeders for the summer about now. With snow still on the ground this late in the season, bears will be looking for easy meals as they emerge from their winter dens. Bird feeders are ideal snacks and can cause bears to make a habit of seeking out human communities when they are hungry.