By September, the birds have begun to stop singing in the mornings. Leopold finds extra joy in hearing bird song when it is rarer. Although often he wakes up early to listen to birds and is greeted with silence, he feels that “the hope of hearing quail is worth half a dozen risings-in-the-dark.” One morning, sitting on his porch, he hears a “chorus” of quail singing nearby. He feels “honored,” and the world around him seems to become more vibrant and beautiful.
Leopold often appreciates nature the most when watching, listening to, or hunting birds. This is true in the fall as well as in the spring. Although sometimes he frames birdsong as a performance for him, here he frames it as something the birds do for themselves, a phenomenon he is lucky to witness.