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Bird Listening

Mike G

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This time of year the caws of Crows, screes of Bluejays, and an occasional Redtail screech is all I usually hear when I am out. On this morning's walk about 9:00 AM, I was surprised to hear woodpeckers drilling - one to the northwest, one to the northeast, and one to the southeast. They never drilled at the same time. There was always about 5-10 seconds between the rata-tat-tats. Since there is little likelyhood that this drilling would yield insects at this time of year, I have to think that the noise making is in preparation for the rites of spring. Either the guys are defining their territory for the rites or they are drumming to attract the ladies for the rites. Spring is coming.

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Drove by Ron K's place once, and could hear the grackles at his bird feeders.

"Grrrrackle, grrraaaaackle. GRAAAAAAAAK!"

Then complete silence....huh.


I drove by Eric's place the other day & saw him waxing his garage floor. :o



Grackles leave here for the southern states in late fall where they're a big nuisance not to return until late Feb. usually about the same time as the robins start showing up.

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As much time as I spend outdoors I decided to pay more attention to the birds around me. One thing all the bird field guides lack is sound. I did however purchase an app for my iPod Touch called iBird Explorer Plus that not only lists over 900 species of birds but lets you hear what they sound like as well. Most of the time, you can hear a lot more birds in the woods than you can see so being able to identify them by their song is a big help. The iPod is also MUCH smaller and easier to carry than a huge book.

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