Chelsea Eckhart was sitting on her balcony outside her California house the other day when a visitor caught her attention — and ear. A little bird sat contentedly atop an overhanging cable.
Eckhart told The Dodo, “She was really outspoken.” “I was ecstatic because I don’t see many birds stop on my balcony too often.”
Though Eckhart was probably not the intended listener for the bird’s song at initially, the unexpected combination quickly became a musical partnership.
Eckhart decided to start a new one during a small gap in the bird’s symphony of chirps and tweets. She returned the feathered visitor’s song with a quiet murmur.
And, sure enough, she responded in kind, her sweet song reverberating in rhythm.
“After a few conversations, she started to imitate what I was doing,” Eckhart added. “I was taken aback when she genuinely repeated what I said!”
It was a cross-species collaboration:
“Having a moment like that with a wild bird was incredible!” Eckhart remarked. “I’ve always loved animals and have worked in wildlife restoration, but that was one of the few occasions I felt like I could communicate with a wild animal.”
The unmistakable call-and-response interaction lasted many “verses” until the bird resumed her own song. Eckhart, on the other hand, will never forget it.