Just as the warm colours lit up the dawn,
up from my catnap I started with a yawn;
preening my feathers I primed each wing,
eager to be off lest my mates should sing.
From perch to perch through tangled bush,
with low short calls startled prey to ambush;
fat juicy critters, ’hoppers, ’pillars and bees,
ticking off my breakfast as easy as a breeze.
And then the calls started long and bold,
this was my territory they had to be told;
so up I flew to the loftiest of the boughs,
‘cause it was the time to beat a few brows.
Tail held taut and head cocked to a side,
opening with notes heard far and wide;
recital of a song high pitched and loud,
this is my patch and I won’t be cowed.
Did I hear a soft low whistle out there,
yes, it is a female, got to show my flair;
fanning my tail feathers out on show,
inflating my size strutting to and fro.
I have to go on stage for this is my cue,
the moment is here to attract and woo;
I put my heart into my loveliest serenade,
the bulbul I stole it from has my day made!
– Narendra Nayak © 2019
[In pictures: the Oriental Magpie Robin (Copsychus saularis), male]