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Illustrator David Sibley and actor H. Jon Benjamin will face off in the bird illustration battle of the century during BirdNote's Year-end Celebration and Auction!
In this episode, ornithologist J. Drew Lanham reads a letter he has written to an Olive-sided Flycatcher, a beloved bird that he pleads with to visit the dead pine tree on the edge of his home by a mountain lake.
Letter to an Olive-sided Flycatcher
Written by J. Drew Lanham
This is BirdNote. I'm J. Drew Lanham, an ornithologist, naturalist and writer, and this is a note I've written to a bird I love.
[Olive-sided Flycatcher song]
Dear Olive-sided Flycatcher,
(Might I call you Ollie Fly??) Please forgive the familiarity, but ummm, there's a dead tree, a nice tall pine snag on the edge of my home by the mountain lake that’s just calling your name. For three years now, I've been waiting for you to find it. No, I'm not expecting a "QUICK THREE BEEERS" call or anything so tell-tale as that.
[Olive-sided Flycatcher song – sounds like “Quick three beers!”]
Especially since it's Fall now. I just want to see you sitting up all flycatcher-like, with a white shirt and dark vest. Is that too much to ask of the habitat selection gods? I mean come on, Ollie, you're as tightly tied to snag tops as waxwings are to eatin’ holly berries. Jus' sayin'. Come on by. Sally forth. I promise, I won't totally lose my mind being right all along about your micro-site selection wishes, it'll just be between you and me, this dead tree affinity. Ok?
Love (and waiting), Drew.
P.S. Ollie, please gimme a quick "pip" call when you arrive, so I know it’s really you.
[Olive-sided Flycatcher “pip” calls]
Kinda tired of Eastern Wood-Pewees pulling my leg.
[Eastern Wood-Pewee song]
Senior Producer: John Kessler
Producer: Mark Bramhill
Managing Editor: Jazzi Johnson
Managing Producer: Conor Gearin
Content Director: Jonese Franklin
Bird sounds provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Environmental ML305946 and Olive-sided Flycatcher ML79421 recorded by Wil Hershberger, and Eastern Wood-Pewee ML104109801 recorded by Hal Mitchell.
BirdNote’s theme was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler.
© 2023 BirdNote October 2023
Narrator: J. Drew Lanham
ID# letter-OSFL-01-2023-10-13 letter-OSFL-01