Tuesday, May 26, 2009

More about Birds

With spring warmth and sunshine, suddenly the air is filled with bird calls and songs. Yesterday, it seemed as if a piece of the sky had just landed in front of my RV; a gorgeous Mountain Bluebird. You can see it and hear its call, not exactly melodious I must add, at: http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Mountain_Bluebird/sounds

I had noticed a pair last year so I suppose they return to old nests. Red-Tail Hawks glide ever so graceful on warm air drafts, not a single feather fluttering. In the nearby field Northern Harriers watch over their nest and swoop down on any interloper. Hmm, that would be Queenie. She remains unflappable under these threats, too intent on diving head first into gopher holes.

I spent a few days at a wilderness park determined to identify birds and their sounds. It’s neither easy nor obvious. One was particularly intriguing; a bubbling sound like that of someone softly blowing into a liquid with a straw. Thanks to Google, I found a site that identified various bird calls and songs, and learned that the Brown-headed Cowbird was the culprit. Neither pretty nor very nice, this bird leaves its eggs in other birds’ nest to have them foster parent its young. But it does make a lovely sound. Check it out at http://www.learnbirdsongs.com/birdsong.php?id=22

Another sound was that of the Gray Catbird. Very elusive, it favours dense foliage and is but a blur when it flies into even denser foliage. A couple of years ago, I kept searching for what I thought was an abandoned kitten when I heard a mew in the bush. I had already rescued a couple of cats dropped by their owners so my reaction was natural. Finally, I realized there was no cat when immediately after the mew, I saw a gray bird swiftly emerging from the foliage and flying away. You can see it and hear it at: http://allaboutbirds.org/guide/Gray_Catbird/sounds .

At the site, you’ll have to scroll down a bit to hear the mew sound posted just below the song. I’m afraid that this will conclude my attempts at identifying birds by their call. It proved to be too confusing, except for catbirds, mourning doves, owls, and brown-headed cowbirds.

No comments:

Custom Search