John Burroughs Shares His Admiration for the Aristocratic Wood Thrush, Praise for the Soulful Veery, Some Criticism for the Catbird, and an Encounter with a Black Snake
Naturalist and gentleman rambler John Burroughs was born 183 years ago on April 3, 1837. We’re grateful to carry on his work. Continuing where we left off in episode 3, we pick up in the first chapter of his book Wake-Robin. John Burroughs focuses on the thrushes. He details the grace and ease of the Wood Thrush. The Veery’s simple, descending flute-like tone adds to the twilight symphony. But Burroughs has some terse criticism for the Catbird and its song. But he turns to empathy for a Catbird family, when its nest is terrorized by a black snake and loses a fledgling to its grasp. In the end, Burroughs avenges the Catbird family.
Click the links below for details about the bird vocalizations used in this episode from the Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology:
Download Wake-Robin by John Burroughs in e-reader format at archive.org.
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