Wilson Post Blogs
Our Feathered Friends - November 2, 2011
I hope you all survived Halloween and all the “Trick-or-Treaters” who came to visit. This year my daughter was a witch and my son decided to be Spiderman. Halloween ranks second on their list of favorite holidays. (Christmas is hard to knock out of first place!) They love to dress up and of course the candy, candy, candy! I could personally do without all the extra candy in the house because it calls my name when no one else is around…
Speaking of calls, I’ve decided to write this week about bird talk or in other words, what a birds call sounds like in English. I’m always impressed when I am birding with Ray because he can hear a call and tell me what type of bird we are looking for. Ray calls this “birding by ear.” Please keep in mind that all of these can be “translated” in several ways. The books and our Bird Guru, Ray, make it seem very easy to pick up on, but I can assure you it takes an open mind and a bit of imagination to pull the English out of a call, so I wish you all luck and hope that you will find this useful.
Blue Jays are a common bird in our area, and if you put out treats like I mentioned in my last article, you will certainly find a few stuffing themselves with your goodies. They are fairly easy to ID from their calls, but most people think their calls sound like, “Thief! Thief! Thief!” (Which I believe fits them perfectly!) Another easy one to translate is the Tufted Titmouse’s call, “Peter, Peter, Peter! Here, here, here!” The Carolina Chickadee is one of my favorites because he tells you who he is, “Chick-a-dee-dee-dee!”
I’m sure you know the Mockingbird can copy just about anything he hears, and will often carry on late into the night with his assortment of borrowed calls. The Brown-headed Cowbird sounds like he has a bubble stuck in his throat, “Glug, Glug, Gleeee!” My favorite bird in our area, the Carolina Wren, sounds like “Tea Kettle, Tea Kettle, Tea Kettle.”
Three more common birds you will hear in our area are the Cardinal, “What-chew, what-chew, birdy-birdy-birdy?” The American Robin has two different calls that it commonly uses, one is translated as “Cheerily-cheer-up! Cheerily-cheer-up” and the other “Tut, tut, tut.” Last, is the Common Nighthawk, who talks of “Pork, beans”… Yum!!
Some of our winter friends have calls you might be able to pick up on, like the Dark-Eyed Junco or Snow Bird who often says “Sleep! Sleep!” Also, the White-Throated Sparrow, which Ray loves to hear, says “Sweet Sweet Canada Canada Canada!” or another translation is “Oooh, poor Sam Peabody, Peabody, Peabody.” For our tea drinking friends you might like the Eastern Towhee which sounds like, “Drink-your-teeeeeeeeeeeeeee.”