Winter Birds Begin Singing Their Rites of Spring

For some, the magic moment happened a week ago. For others, it happened just the other day. Many are still waiting, but some morning soon they too will wake to the lilt of a backyard bird pleading for a mate.

Chickadees will whistle “Phoebe,” nuthatches will honk like a tinny horn, titmice will screech “Peter, Peter, Peter,” and woodpeckers will hammer out their heart’s desire with their beaks against hollow branches.