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  Topic: Wildlife, What's in your back yard?< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  
Lou FCD



Posts: 5377
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 10 2008,16:04   

Quote (Arden Chatfield @ May 10 2008,16:34)
Quote (Lou FCD @ May 10 2008,12:28)
I just spent about a half-hour tossing the ball with Shakespeare in the back yard.

While I was standing by the back tree line, a Catbird alighted on a branch about ten or twelve feet from me and decided it was safe to serenade us.  Shakespeare just took a seat beside me and watched him rather calmly.

It seemed like he pulled out every piece of sheet music he had.  Catbirds always fascinate me in that such a wide repertoire is contained all in one animal.

While we sadly don't have Catbirds out in the West Coast, I've always thought Mockingbirds were even better for that. When I was a kid there was a nesting pair in my back yard for several years. The male used to attack cats during the nesting season, and he had a song that he basically sang all day for 6 months of the year. In peak summer you'd hear it all night, even at 2-3am. The song took about 3-4 minutes to 'recite' in full and was so consistent that after a few years I actually knew what notes were coming up next.

I get regular visits from mockingbirds as well, though for whatever reason it seems like the catbirds, the robins, and the red-bellied woodpeckers are the most frequent "serenaders" in my yard.  (I don't guess that's the best word for the woodpecker's call, but whatever.)

I have a line of azaleas about 30' long and 5' tall across the back fence, and there's always some very pretty music emanating from the depths of that, but even with 10X50 binoculars from the window, it's usually not possible to see exactly who's making it.  Sometimes I can recognize the songs, sometimes I can figure it out from the Cornell site, but a lot of times I can't, so I just sit and listen.

There's a Catbird (the same one as earlier maybe? - the song is definitely different but similar) out there letting it rip now, in fact, accompanied by a Cardinal and someone else who just seems to be "peep"ing (that might be another Cardinal, but I can't locate the exact source).  There's a Blue Jay in the background, further away somewhere, and some other bird I haven't heard before just joined them.

The latest guest sounds like a Cardinal's peep 8 or 9 times in a row in quick succession, like a machine gun.  Almost a trill, but not quite.  'bout the same pitch as a Cardinal, too, but I've never heard a Cardinal do that before.

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Lou FCD is still in school, so we should only count him as a baby biologist. -carlsonjok -deprecated
I think I might love you. Don't tell Deadman -Wolfhound

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