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Two Meadowlarks and a Poem

… when i close my ears i hear meadowlarks...
© Becky Matsubara View Large

In his poem “Trying to Fall Asleep in South Dakota,” poet Tom Gannon wrote about meadowlarks. He might have been hearing a Western Meadowlark, which nests across South Dakota in the summer. But if he’d been in the south-central part of the state, it might have been an Eastern Meadowlark. Their songs are a bit different. Those who grow up with one song, as opposed to the other, sometimes take the view that the song they grew up with is the best. But those lucky enough to live in the Midwest -- where Eastern and Western Meadowlark ranges converge -- may be able to enjoy both singers.

Today's show brought to you by the Bobolink Foundation.

Full Transcript

Transcript: 

BirdNote®  

Two Meadowlarks and a Poem

Written by Bob Sundstrom
 
This is BirdNote.

In his poem “Trying to Fall Asleep in South Dakota,” poet Tom Gannon wrote:
 
“when i close my eyes i see
dirt county roads when i
close my ears i hear
meadowlarks”

[Western Meadowlark song, https://macaulaylibrary.org/asset/164573601#_ga=2.52417899.379092051.158..., 0.33-.35]
The author may have been hearing the song of the Western Meadowlark…which nests across South Dakota in the summer, before migrating south.
[Western Meadowlark song, https://macaulaylibrary.org/asset/164573601#_ga=2.52417899.379092051.158..., 0.33-.35]
But if the poem’s author was spending time in the south-central part of the state, he may have been hearing Eastern Meadowlarks. Their song is a bit different -- more slurred, perhaps, but just as memorable.
[Eastern Meadowlark song, ML 106881]
Those who grow up with one song, as opposed to the other, sometimes take the view that the meadowlark song they grew up with is the best. But for those lucky enough to live in the Midwest -- where Eastern and Western Meadowlark ranges converge -- they may be able to enjoy both singers:
[Eastern Meadowlark song, ML 106881]
[Western Meadowlark song, https://macaulaylibrary.org/asset/164573601#_ga=2.52417899.379092051.158..., 0.33-.35]
For BirdNote, I’m Michael Stein.
Today's show brought to you by the Bobolink Foundation.
                                                             ###
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Sallie Bodie
Editor: Ashley Ahearn
Associate Producer: Ellen Blackstone
Producer: Mark Bramhill
Bird sounds provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Western Meadowlark ML 164573601 recordist E Pandolfino  0:05 - 0:45  and 1:10 - 1:20; Eastern Meadowlark ML 106881 recordist R Little 0:50 - 1:25
BirdNote’s theme was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler.
© 2020 BirdNote   June 2020         Narrator: Michael Stein
 
ID# WEME-EAME-01-2020-06-18        WEME-EAME-01
 
source of poem: https://tgannon.incolor.com/bird3MO.html
 
 

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