Summer Sounds: A Bird Hailing The End Of Spring Writer Bailey White adds her voice to our series Summer Sounds with thoughts about a bird called "Chuck-Wills-Widow" that signals late spring.
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Summer Sounds: A Bird Hailing The End Of Spring

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Summer Sounds: A Bird Hailing The End Of Spring

Summer Sounds: A Bird Hailing The End Of Spring

Summer Sounds: A Bird Hailing The End Of Spring

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Writer Bailey White adds her voice to our series Summer Sounds with thoughts about a bird called "Chuck-Wills-Widow" that signals late spring.

MICHELE NORRIS, Host:

It's time once again for the latest in our series on the sounds of summer.

(SOUNDBITE OF BIRDS CHIRPING)

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SUMMERTIME, SUMMERTIME")

THE JAMIES: Writer Bailey White lives in southern Georgia. And as she tells it, her summer sound and it's when the season really begins.

BAILEY WHITE: Every early spring, I looked forward to the first night singing of the Chuck-Wills-Widow.

(SOUNDBITE OF BIRD CHIRPING)

WHITE: My mother used to note down the date of the first singing each year in the margins of Herbert L. Stoddard's book, "Birds of Grady County."

NORRIS: chuck will's widow, chuck will's widow, chuck will's widow.

(SOUNDBITE OF BIRD CHIRPING)

WHITE: In early spring, the song is a joy to hear wafting through the woods. But as spring heads into summer, the singer of certain individuals becomes faster, breathless, frenetic.

(SOUNDBITE OF BIRD CHIRPING)

WHITE: In South Georgia, winter and spring are famously magical seasons. Rich people from Philadelphia and Cleveland used to flock to my town each winter and called it paradise. But summer is a dreaded season. Smothering heat, long spells of heartbreaking drought, stinkbugs in the roses, rattlesnakes under the steps and a wasp nest in every aluminum gate - these are the things I think about as the Chuck Will's Widow's song becomes desperate.

(SOUNDBITE OF BIRD CHIRPING)

WHITE: One hot night, he was singing so loud, so pitifully hopeful, I could not sleep. Chuck will's widow, chuck will's widow, chuck...something had grabbed him in mid-song. There was a flap of wings then crunching and smacking. Spring is over, I thought, and now summer is here.

NORRIS: A summer sound from writer Bailey White. If you have a summer sound you'd like to share, go to NPR.org and click on Contact Us. And, please, be sure to put Summer Sounds in that subject line.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

ROBERT SIEGEL: It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.

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