Birdsong NEW


I awake to the sounds of the birds. There are so many different birds: the loudest and most obvious are the roosters, self-consciously crowing since before sunrise. Next are the nearby songbirds and their familiar chirps and whistles that can be heard seemingly everywhere in the world. But then, from further off, deeper into the green wall of tangled trees, vines, and bushes, come others: exotic, magical calls and sounds that don’t fit into the familiar checklist in my mind.

There is the musical plopping song of a bird that I hear echoing throughout the jungle. Odd squawks and shrieks both sing and scream. A creaky call like an old wooden door opening. Two days ago the howler monkeys chimed into the sunrise song also, with their deep, hallow growl that made the Spanish conquistadores believe the jungle was filled with evil spirits.

I stepped out to see if I could see the birds. The air was already smokey from jungle being burned for soy fields. The contrast of the cacophony of a living jungle and the evidence of its persistent destruction was dreamlike. The people who live here are already awake. When there is no electricity you set and rise with the sun. Just like the birds.

Sunrise is an orange line along the eastern horizon. The mosquitos are waking too. They like to eat at sunrise and sunset. I duck back into my tent to wait them out.