, Newburyport, MA


May 2, 2014

Sounds of spring can be deafening


Pittsboro appears to be a modern, small town adjacent to highways.

All things considered, among them being her feeding of tigers instead of swans, I’d say she’s very much with us still, and well.

She didn’t mention birds, but birding is just about everywhere there are birds.

I never pass a group of birders without appreciation of their patience and the quietude of their presence no matter their number or the excitement of their discoveries.

Plum Island’s offerings are a well-regarded bonanza of riches, but I don’t recall a year when so many cars have been parked spontaneously at the arrival of a new bird or two.

We have come a working lifetime’s away from when bird hunting had more to do with what would be on the table for dinner than what we could add to a list of bird sightings.

I am sometimes reminded of that when I have to wait for the passing of a dozen or so not-so-wild turkeys crossing a road from one front yard to another, clucking along as they go.

And I have a treasured photograph of my father pointing aloft to a treetop for me to appreciate a bird finding when I was 4 years old.

I find it unsurprising to learn from Alberta that there is a wild tiger refuge near her new home in South Carolina, or that she would find an opportunity to help as a part or her settling in.

Settling in is the good part of what nature is about. Broadcasting it is for the birds.


Bill Plante is a Newbury resident and staff columnist. His e-mail address is

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