Wednesday, September 7, 2011

One Ear Open

Despite having to deal with the annoyance of daily life in larger amounts lately, I've still had my ear tuned to the birds outside. Yesterday on my drive to work I had a nice view of a northern mockingbird flying right across my windshield (nope, didn't hit it), with its attractive white wing patches flashing. It actually made me jump for a second in alarm, but I've been fatigued every day this week so I probably wasn't quite awake.

This early afternoon, while working on my training, I had a black-capped chickadee repeatedly calling "chick-a-dee-dee; chick-a-dee-dee-dee-dee" just outside one of the porch windows. My guess is he or she does not like the next door neighbor's outdoor cats any more than I do.

This afternoon while getting stuff out of my car, I heard quite a few strange calls at first. The most distinctive was a fluttering descending trill, which I immediately recognized as the Carolina wren! I couldn't find the little guy, which is not surprising as he was hiding in this enormous, supremely bushy evergreen in the backyard. He eventually started singing loudly, exuberantly. Note that this guy rarely sings "teakettle" but rather something along the lines of a car alarm (not the ones that simply honk). I really should look further into this specie's migration patterns. I know they only recently started staying up here late into the year, possibly not even migrating at all, but it still stumps me because I never used to see or hear them at all.

I've also taken vague note of all the huge American crows all over the roads. They have been snacking on the large amount of roadkill, almost all squirrels and chipmunks. I usually do a double-take to see if I've seen a raven, but usually no such luck. I get a kick out of them merely walking a little bit to the side of the road upon seeing my car from a distance, and then as my car draws near, they pick up a bit of speed and then eventually hop, stopping just outside the white line, waiting for my car to pass. Anyone who thinks a crow is dumb has simply not been paying attention.


Woodswalker said...

Crows? DUMB?!! I do believe they're the Einsteins of the avian world. Along with their fellow corvids, the jays and ravens. I love your description of their roadside behavior.

Lindsey said...

Some people still surprise me by saying they think birds are dumb! Corvids are the best example of intelligence in my avian buddies! I wish I could find what I had read that talked about how crows have learned what cars are, it was fascinating...