Birds of Nebraska: Newspaper Accounts, 1854-1923

Sandy Griswold. July 7, 1918. [Rosy July Morning in Fair Nebraska]. Omaha Sunday World-Herald 53(40): 11-W.

Forest Field and Stream

While rosy June - the climateric in orchestral abandon of the feathered world - has once more rolled back into the insatiable maw of time, the birds are still with us, and they put in a good deal of their time exercising their vocal witcheries, too. Still they are rapidly slowing up, and while we will have morning and evening serenades throughout the present month, they will become less enthusiastic with each recurring day and dwindle away during the latter part of August, with a few exceptions, to nothing much more than a querulous chirp and a lugrubrious plaint. In September - the silent month - you will hear little bird music, from either copse and field, save from the little lemon-breasted linnet, and one or two others. This little sparrow sings from blustery and scowling March until bleak and menacing November. Therefore, be warned in time, wake and rise early these few remaining mornings, and listen to the birds.

A July morning in Nebraska. The night is slowly retreating before the advancing dawn. A peculiar light shines faintly in the eastern sky, a refractory glistening of the mighty ocean, we would fain fancy, way out here - soft, ethereal and thin like the glimmer of a sunset up in the north woods. It is the most calm and restful hour of all the twenty-four. The sky is filmless and a weird, but evanescent halo rests upon rolling plain and wooded valley. It is the forerunner of a rosy flood. Its chastened beauty charms the eye and soothes the soul, and having once gazed upon this maturescent unfolding of the day, he is a dead soul, indeed, who does not thrill to the memory. The little gray Phoebe bird first awakes of all the feathered hosts, and while alive to the witchery of the hour, its plaintive little voice adds but a faraway effect to the prevailing quiet.

Pho-e-be-ee! Pho-e-be-ee! cries the tiny mite, and the hush deepens as if to await an answer that never comes. Now the pearly shine is rapidly brightening in the east. The thin soft sheen vanishes before the morning breeze and the cottonwood leaves begin to whisper and the prairie grass to softly undulate.

Tee-re-lee! tee-re-lee-tee-tee! pipes the robin from maple, crab or plum top, and shortly the summer air is vibrant with the sweet twitterings of the whole feathered choir. How the echoes blend as the rollicking notes are flung here and there and everywhere on the freshening morning air.

Pink! pink! pink! come fragments of faint melody from out the amber sky, as the warblers leave their roosts in the valleys for the sunny uplands, and oliee! chee-chee! oliee chee-chee! seeps from the dark and muggy copse, where the night still clings, and the black-throated creeper sounds his exquisite trumpet. The tuee-dle-de of the oriole and the continuous carol of the thrush, varigated carillon of the catbird and the kong-ke-ree of the redwings in the marshland are matched against each other in the grand opera of the sweet woodland songsters. Clearer and sweeter than the softest notes from silver or gold, comes this rehearsal of the later risers among the folk of wood and dingle, from the busy little rufous wren to all the gaudy vireos and warblers, and by the time the dew drops are sparkling in the sun's slanting rays, the woodland and the meadow fairly hum with their joyous cries - even the nuthatch, the yellowhammer, the crow and woodpecker clink and clutch and chirp and chatter while they busy themselves in the quest of the matutinal banquet. When all the pale lights have faded in the overwhelming luster of the risen sun, the grand serenade ends, and but tinkling reverberations view with the wind for the listener's attention.

Such is a July morning in our own fair Nebraska.