I heard the first ethereal song of the Wood Thrush yesterday! After a long winter, my ears have been straining for days to hear their beautiful music. The Wood Thrush spends winters in Central America and returns to our woods each year in mid-April. I believe it was also April 18th when I heard the first one last year.
To my ears, the varied song of the Wood Thrush is completely enchanting. I could sit in the woods and listen for hours, and I could not agree more with the comments by Henry Thoreau.
"As I come over the hill I hear the wood thrush singing his evening lay. This is the only bird whose note affects me like music—affects the flow & tenor of my thought—my fancy & imagination. It lifts and exhilarates me. It is inspiring. It is a medicative draught to my soul. It is an elixir to my eyes & a fountain of youth to all my senses. It changes all hours to an eternal morning." — Henry David Thoreau, Journal entry, June 22, 1853.
"The strains of the aeolian harp & of the wood thrush are the truest & loftiest preachers that I know now left on this earth. I know of no missionaries to us heathen comparable to them." — Thoreau, Dec. 31, 1953 [Apparently he missed their song during the winter, too.]Click here for more information and recordings at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, or, even better, get out into a mature forest soon and listen yourself.