1.   Sail the Summer Sky (An Ode to Prairie Birds)  -
  ©  Anne B. Wilson 2010

Songnote:  This is an ode to six of my favorite tallgrass prairie birds:  the
Prairie Chicken, Upland Sandpiper (Plover), Meadowlark, Great Blue Heron,
Killdeer, and Red-tailed Hawk.  The eccentricities of each species make
them delightful companions to those who spend time out on the tallgrass

The portly Prairie Chicken does his dance across the lek
His orange cheeks and feathered fans will show those hens who’s best
He booms across the prairie, a feathered Flint Hills king
Then flaps his wings to glide away into the prairie breeze

The pretty Upland Plover stands on the fence post tall
& lifts her wings & starts to sing her sweet high lonesome song
From the southern hemisphere she flies from beaches white w/ sand
To raise her family in these hills of bluestem prairie land

 She’ll fly   -   -   -   -   -
 And sail – the summer sky            

Our melodic Western Meadowlark he nests down in the grass
And hunts for insects in the Earth then flies away so fast
The color of the sunshine with a black tie on his chest
He sings his morning meadow song to wake us from our rest

The gangly Great Blue Heron steps her stilt walk cross the creek
Unhooks her S-shaped neck to catch the minnows in her beak
Then spreads her six-foot wings to glide down through that tunnel green
To her nest among the many in the sycamore rookery         


The daring little Killdeer lays her eggs right on the ground
Their speckles camouflage so well they seldom will be found
If you come too near she’ll do her best to lure you away
She’ll drag her wing and cry out loud to keep her babies safe

Oh the mighty Red-tailed Hawk he skims across the sky
And his hawk eyes scan the prairie beneath him as he flies
He’ll rise up with the current on the warm wind take a ride
To float above the ridge tops and sail the summer sky       


Clean Curve of Hill Against Sky
Volume 1 Songs of the Kansas Flint Hills
Prairie Chicken (photos by Ron Klataske)
Plover - Upland Sandpiper - photos by Ron Klataske)
Killdeer (photos by Ron Klataske)
Western Meadowlark
(photos by Ron Klataske)
Flying Great Blue Heron (photo by Annie WIlson)
Red-Tailed Hawk (photo by AllAboutBirds.org)
click note for
music sample
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