Last year I taught a blackbird to sing a phrase of music.
I chose something that was unique and possibly that he might not learn. I was not even sure that it was the same blackbird returning.
The exercise was very interesting. He tried to copy my song often.
He nearly succeeded. Then he went away.
This year a blackbird returned. I heard him sing the song I taught. I was surprised.
Everytime I heard it I went outside. I left some food for him.
I whistled the song.
Then the hen blackbird came and built a nest. She laid four eggs.
Both she and he sat the nest.
Then the eggs were gone in a half-hour period one morning.
The birds went away.
We were sad.
Then came the song again. Plus a new song.
The new song was the sound of our new squeaky back door opening.
A routine started: song-open door-give out food-song.
One day he came to the food place just as I went out. We saw each other.
I whistled very quietly a nonsense tune.
He joined in with me.
Then the song became more frequent. Morning, afternoon then evening.
Then later in the evening too.
Today the fledglings are all out of the nest.
Not the first nest but a second one. One hidden completely from view.
Two of the birds are fine and flying.
The third is sitting in the woodpile. She is tired.
She is not a flyer yet. He is feeding her.
I put some bread soaked in water out of the window.
I will do that again and whistle the song.
Perhaps she will get better.