I have often risen before dawn to sit outside under the stars listening as the birds announce the coming day. It starts with a tweet or a chirp and then, as a crimson glow streaks the gray sky, their songs rise to a chorus as the sun breaks above the horizon. But lately, there have been no songs. The pre-dawn darkness is shrouded in an eery silence. The first shadows stretch across the landscape where there is no movement. The birds are absent. Where have they gone?