Fieldbook of Wild Birds and Their Music

by F. Schuyler Matthews, 1904

f_schuyler_matthewsMy grandmother handed down a well-worn edition of this book, and while I have only skimmed through it, I’m thoroughly enamoured of its intent. Perhaps if I’d looked up the White Throated Sparrow it would have helped out that search 🙂

From the publisher:

In this beautifully written and well-illustrated guide to birds’ songs from 1904, Mathews describes 127 bird species, mostly of Eastern United States, and their songs. This fieldbook contains descriptions of the physical characteristics and habits of each, as well as detailed comments on their songs and calls. He includes musical scores of at least two songs for each species.


White Throated Sparrow — It Might As Well Be Spring

Mystery solved!

peterson-white-throated-sparrowFor years now, at our weekend home, in the spring, I have caught the song of . . . somebody feathery . . . and my mind would launch immediately into a whistled intro to of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s classic, It Might As Well Be Spring { as performed live by The Stan Getz Quartet & Astrud Gilberto in 1964, and found on Getz Au Go Go } .

Why? Apparently, Mr. Getz { appropriately } incorporated the song of the White Throated Sparrow into his sax intro for this version. It’s been bugging me for all these years, and now I know which bird it is that starts up that song on the inner juke.

{ Now if I could only hear again and identify that other bird, used as another classic intro . . . }