Twelve-year-old Patrick Barrington suffers a double exile. He not only is isolated in a remote part of Costa Rica among aloof natives, far from his friends, his Chicago school mates; he is also painfully lonely for his grandfather, a white trader with whom Patrick has yearly visited in the Navajo country. Only the song of the yellow warbler relieves his sadness as he hears a tune last heard at his grandfather's, but now sung in the trees of Costa Rica where the birds have come to migrate. And there, deep in the jungle, Patrick meets the Bird Lady, queen of the birds, and through the song of the migrant creatures glimpses universality. A gripping story which combines poetry with realism in a unique way.