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Noticing Birds in the Back Yard, With Denise Acsay

“Birds give me peace.”
© Syd Phillips, Flickr Creative Commons View Large

BirdNote asked listeners to tell us about the bird life around their homes. BirdNote’s Dominic Black met up with Denise Acsay — who lives on San Juan Island in Washington State — to learn more about Denise’s love of birds such as this Barred Owl. Denise says her favorite bird sounds are heard in spring, “when they’re really just intoxicated . . . it’s the physical manifestation of the way one feels in the spring. New life. Hope. Promise...”

Full Transcript



Denise Acsay – Noticing Birds in My Backyard

Written by Dominic Black from an interview with Denise Acsay

This is BirdNote.

In May, we asked listeners to tell us about changes they’ve seen in the bird life around their homes. One of those who replied is Denise Acsay. Dominic Black met up with her at her home in the woods of San Juan Island, an hour off the coast of Northwest Washington State. And asked her who first taught her to notice natural world…

DA: I think it was my mother. 

DB: What was she like?

DA: Well, my mother was born in Austria in 1917, and she died this spring at a great age — she was an only child so... 

DB: How old was she?

DA: Ninety six. She was definitely an outdoors person. She skied, she swam, she hiked. Lived on her own till the very end.

DB: You know if I was to ask you what birds mean to you, say, what would you say?

DA: They mean a connection with nature. They give me peace. 

DB: What’s your favorite bird sound? 

DA: Almost any bird in the spring, when they’re really just completely intoxicated. The sound – it’s the physical manifestation of the way one feels in the spring, you know. New life. Hope. Promise...  

DB: Do you think about your mum when you think about the birds?

DA: Sometimes I do, yeah, yeah…yeah. I always feel that they’re sort of a benediction when they come.     

A conversation with BirdNote listener, Denise Acsay. For BirdNote, I’m Michael Stein. 


The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York: 
BirdNote’s theme music was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler.
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Dominic Black
© 2015 Tune In to   August 2015         Narrator: Michael Stein

ID# acsayd-01-2015-08-06 acsayd-01

Sights & Sounds

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