'Twas the night before Bird Count and all through lakeside
Not a birder was stirring, not even team guides Their binocs were hung by their field books with care In hopes that rare birds would appear everywhere.
The counters were nestled all snug in their beds While visions of frigate birds danced in their heads; And Jude in her kerchief and Al in his cap Had just settled down for a long winter's nap.
When out on the lake there arose such a clatter Al sprang to his feet to see what was the matter; When what in his 20x scope should he sight But a miniature sleigh and six life birds in flight.
With a cute little driver, so relaxed and un-tense He knew in a moment it must be St. Vince; More rapid than eagles his wobblers they came, And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name.
"Now, Wilson! Now, Townsend! Now, Black-throated Gray! On, Yellow! On Nashville! On Colima-this way! To the top of the church! To the top of the wall! Now fly away! Fly away! Fly away all!"
He was dressed all in feathers, from his head to his foot, And his pockets were full of jacanas and coots; A large flock of raptors was stuffed in his pack, And finches and sparrows-there were no birds he lacked.
He spoke not a word, but went right to the grind of stocking the bird routes for counters to find. He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a nod And away they all flew to a Bird Count in Guad.
But Al heard him exclaim, as he flew through the night, "High counts don't just happen, it takes some foresight!"