Birds enter a room, made to the keeper’s measure, and join a lived landscape of things. Accommodating these little visitors, one day to the next, the keeper observes the birds’ song, trying to decipher their desires.
During the light night-time hours a Greenfinch makes its song of two totally different types: one, as it circles a vase and bouquet of flowers, an unmusical, frizzling or wheezy ‘dschrüüüüuh’ repeated with long pauses; the other, amplified in the cavity of the bowl on which it has alighted, a pleasing, Canary-type song consisting of trills and fast runs of whistles and twitters, ‘jüpp-jüpp-jüpp jürrrrrrrr tut-tuy-tuy-tuy-tuy juit chipp-chipp-chipp-chipp-chipp dürdürdürdür jürrrrrrr’.
The inquisitive House Sparrow favours a high perch from which to court its environment, delivering a long series of well-spaced chirps slightly varied throughout, ‘chilp chev chilp chelp chürp’, the voice unmistakable in its soft melody and jaunty rhythm. The bird sings to the room and its contents, watched and admired by the keeper. It descends to pick at food laid out for it on a ceramic stand, silently sips water from its upper tier, before letting go a loud, upcurled ‘juit’and a rattling ‘cher’r’r’r’r’r’.