Shelter Island’s Singing Unsung Heroes of Spring

May 30th, 2009

Spring on Shelter Island. One day gets more beautiful then the next. Just when you think that spring must have peaked, there is some new bloom, some additional fantastic floral fragrance in the air that permeates everything. Taking a walk or a run through the island at this time of the yeaer can be actually intoxicating…

Shelter Island has a fantastic array of spring flora that is abundant, but also a fairly common aspect of spring. What I find unique to Shelter Island is the absolute abundance of birdsong. From the break of dawn until the sun sets there is a symphony of sounds from the many species of song birds that inhabit the island. In the forests and hills of New England you generally do not get this concentration of songs from birds. Though perhaps it’s just the particular joy that these birds get from being on the island that inspires an unusual creativity.

You can always hike through Mashomack, but you don’t really have to go anywhere in particular on Shelter Island to hear the birds sing. You will hear greater concentrations of song as you move inland from the beaches, though on the beaches you will hear the specific calls of the ospreys and occasional kingfisher. From the Pridwin, if you walk up the driveway and take a right on Stearns Point road to Nostrand Parkway you will be amazed at the sounds you hear. And you may even catch a glimpse of the local fox couple with their two kits.

I tried to capture some of the songs heard this morning and posted them here, on today’s Pridwin blog. Click ‘shelterbirds’ to hear them.


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