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The Birdsong 2.0

three corpsmembers posing in front of truck

By Spandan Buch, Metro Field Crew Member / AmeriCorps Member

Hi everyone, welcome back to the blog! Before we get to my post for the month, I’d like to take a quick second to reference something I said in my first blog post. I had expressed my wish that the rest of the term wouldn’t pass us by as quickly as the first month did, and I am sorry to report that it is absolutely flying by – there’s a little foreshadowing for ya 😉 – and though it’s been a lot of fun, I would really appreciate it if the universe could chill for a minute and let us enjoy this term!

Okay, back to the regularly scheduled programming. Today’s blog post is certainly not a traditional one, in fact, it started out as a complete joke. For some background, my crew leader, Drake, is an absolute whiz at identifying birds by sight and by sound, and he has a ton of experience with bird-watching as both a hobbyist and a wildlife resource worker. He is certainly not alone in the Central District in his love for birds, so shoutout to all the bird nerds in Central and the rest of CCMI (Conservation Corps Minnesota & Iowa). Naturally, when Drake was the DJ for our truck one day, he pulled up a rap song called “Birding” by Swet Shop Boys. It’s an incredibly catchy song, and y’all should definitely go check it out. It also definitely cemented Drake’s status as a bird nerd of the highest, noblest order.

A few weeks have gone by since then, and the winter has been (very) slowly giving way to spring. This has brought on the arrival of an ever-growing cacophony of birds singing throughout the forest at Lake Maria State Park, where my crew and I have been working on an oak wilt suppression and management project for the past month. In between bucking, splitting, and stacking logs of oak and burning them to get rid of oak wilt fungus spores, we’ve had a great time trying to identify the birds we see or hear. And as a joke, we’ve been trying to rhyme bird names like the Swet Shop Boys. As it turns out, we’re really good at rhyming.

So, without further ado, I present to you a rap song that is my ode to the oncoming springtime, the end of our oak wilt management, and most importantly, the birds. I present to you, Metro Crew’s new hit rap single…

 

The Birdsong 2.0

three members standing in front of truck like an album cover

Me and my crew yeah we out in Lake Maria

Getting out the binos and scannin for some flyas

Lengthy uphill hikes all across the state park

We some ground-dwelling birds, just like the meadowlark

Everyday serenade from the birds of Minnesota

Except when haulin gear (gotta fire up the Kubota)

 

Oak wilt suppression yeah we havin a ball

But it gets even better when we hear the birds call

One crewmate reminds me “hey, put on your gloves”

Meanwhile the other said “hey, look at those doves”

Heard the squawking calls of the duck and the goose

Maybe it’s a warning that my bar nuts are loose!

Dang I lost my scrench somewhere along the trail,

Found it few days later, jumped up & down like a quail

Gassing up the saw, gotta get down on one knee

Low to the ground, I’m a black-capped chickadee

Robins chirpin in the aspen, cedar, and oak

My chainsaw might be flooded, did I take it off choke?

 

Pockets start filling with wood chips and sawdust

Got me lookin like my friend the little fox-colored thrush

Drip torching ‘n hoping we set fire to the logs

Please let it all burn ‘fore we start to hear the frogs

Da crew works hard to make the pile go with a crackle

But def don’t need to work as hard to spot the common grackle

Cranking engines, makin noise like a lawn mower

Birds not comin lower cuz we runnin leafblowers

It’s been a long day but we got the fires roarin’

Our job is never boring cuz we see the eagles soarin’

 

The ground’s all wet and soft, and you won’t believe how muddy

But it’s been fun to be outside with my avian buddies

Slippin and slidin in the sleet and the rain

Are we being mocked right now by a sandhill crane?

Spring is on its way just like the Eastern Phoebe

Boots sinkin in the mud, sounding like a squeegee

My crew can’t wait for weather that’s a bit more pleasant

Just like we’re eager to come across a ring-necked pheasant

Can’t stress it enough, I hope it gets warm soon

Just started to hear the pretty croon of the common loon

 

Y’all know I had to make this rap and do it for the culture,

Underrated but I put in work, so call me turkey vulture

I’m signin’ off the mic now, I’ll give it a rest

Hamm’s shop is what we call our nest,

Metro Crew is the best

 

PEACE✌🏽✌🏽

 

Written by: Spandan Buch

Ghostwriters: Drake Egan, Addison Tansom