Birds in the morning
How to Orchestrate a Murder!
Catchy title; all is well.
No, no, nothing so mundane as to the reason one MAY have on clicking such a lurid sounding blog title. Would that be full retard? IDK, I’ll leave that to the constant reader.
....thank SK for my little ripoff
OK, that all said, now to my little story about a murder of crows…
I like birds. Observing birds, listening to birds play their music. Sitting everyday outside, to breathe and be. One finds, after a while, certain melodies going on among many different kinds of rhythms. All going on all at once. It’s good for practical reasons, as well: discerning melodies and rhythms for my own musical diversions is one.
Crow calls in particular are striking! All kinds of calls. Ones, two’s, threes, fours, and more. All with different tones and pitches. Gathered together, in their murdering way, these phrasings seem to become entire paragraphs of communication amongst them all. Each individual bird a part to a much larger phrasing structure. Each individual crow adding a syllable, a word, a phrase. Along with commas, periods, exclamation points, the whole shazzam. They put on quite a show when large murders cackle their conspiracies.
I’ve noticed distinct melodies. Sometimes, my own weak attempts at mimicking their rhythms causes a response. Once, while observing just a couple of them interact in a tree, I started up the usual plagiarism of musical phrasings. Apparently, I must have hit some sweet notes. The response was immediate! Both flew off in opposite directions. Distinct chatter could be heard. Not a moment later, groups from North and South converged in the tree in front of me and started up the band! It was awesome. A great show.
I did, of course, join in ~ and they got louder and softer. Distinct communication. This went on for a good three or four minutes. Enough for a really good song on the spirit of radio. It was a Rush!
Well, that’s how I managed to orchestrate a murder of crows. Next time, I’ll try to remember to video tape it for posterity. I suppose just paying attention is all it really takes to talk to birds. Because they Do pay attention!
Jarbas Agnelli is a Brazillian filmmaker and composer with an impressive ad portfolio. His short ‘Birds on a Wire’ has gotten a lot of buzz, and features around 40 Crows sitting on telephone wires posing as musical notes.
Link: Birds on a Wire
I seem to recall seeing this on a thread from somewhere. :)
Ah, yes, I knew I did...
It's interesting how the different species of birds inter-relate with one another. The sunrise today revealed a reflection on this. As soon as the sun peaked up a hawk landed on the ground in front of me. Beautiful bird up close. He took a moment to look about then proceeded to peck at some seeds on the grass before flying off in a flowing graceful way. He flew right through the trees up to a higher vantage point. The wind of his passing made the leaves rustle through the sunlight. Beautiful, glittering movement of shadow and light. He reached the peak to survey the surroundings and began his own distinct call. Of course, his mate was around and soon her response was audible. Loud and clear...
Yes, yes the crows were around too. They always are. Watching everything. They made their presence known. The rhythm of their chatter is a beat all its own. They always start off with the single and double call rhythm. Sort of binary in a way. That call and response thing. Until one of them finds something interesting and lets the others know with their differences in tone and number of caws.
It was cool because it seemed they were saying good morning to one another. The crows landed on the higher points of view to see the morning surroundings also. Sharing the perches with the two bigger birds. Letting each other know about what the morning looks like. Eyeing around for breakfast...
Which reminds me...