Friday, June 19, 2009

Brown Creeper

I heard a Brown Creeper for the first time today. Okay, maybe I've heard them calling before, but I just forgot about the song since I could never ID it before. Today I was in the yard taking photos (not of birds) and heard the bird begin singing. It drove me insane. I grabbed my binoculars, and couldn't find it. In fact, I found out that it would sing, pause, and move while pausing to another pine tree. It just wanted to stay in the pines. I never found it. Why? Because it's a tiny Brown Creeper in a massive, densely needled pine tree, cryptically colored to blend with the bark. It sang for hours and hours. I ran inside to transcribe it using my guitar.

The song is a very high, wavy-sounding, bright whistle of about 7 notes, quite melodic, and hurried. I think it sounds like a warped or worn cassette tape being played, how it has that wavy quality. Or, if you will, how a voice sounds when the person is extremely nervous. The individual here downslurs the last note - this is not always typical, however. Also, the notes are grouped. The first four together with a short pause before the highest note in the song and the rest of the notes following just cascade downward. The call sounds a lot like that of a Cedar Waxwing, extremely high-pitched and trilling.

And there we have the Brown Creeper.

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