Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Birdsongs 101

Over the past few years a whole new world has opened up to me.
It is a world that I have always been aware of,
but not so intimately a part of as now.

All of my life I have been aware of and in awe of birds...
so delicate,
so nurturing,

so driven by instinct,
so melodic,
and blessed with the gift of flight.

For most of my life, though, I was aware of only a few species.
The ones that graced my yard...robins and grackles.
The ones that visited my feeders...finches, cardinals, bluebirds and chickadees.

I heard the birdsongs as just a generic melody,
unable to identify the singer.
Until now.

Now, with the help of a CD that teaches the songs of each
individual bird,
a whole new world has opened up.

Now, when I walk outside, I can recognize who is in the trees
singing to me.

I know the songs of the common birds and also the less common.

I find myself searching the farm for elusive scarlet tanagers,
 indigo buntings, Baltimore orioles
and so many more...that we only rarely get a glimpse of.

Yesterday I had a chance to photograph a killdeer
as it defended its nest of eggs.
It has a distinct cry...a distress signal.
Hearing it, I searched for its origin....
And found her, sitting on a nest in our barn driveway.

This bird is found all over the United States,
but you might not ever see one if you live in the city.
It lives in open fields and on shores.

It is known for its rather dramatic display...
feigning a broken wing in order to draw attention away from its nest
which is always on the open ground and usually in gravel.

She has made her nest in the upper driveway that leads to our barn.
Three speckled eggs are sitting there amongst the gravel.

She led me away from her nest and 
threw herself onto the ground flapping her wings...

as if severely injured.....
I watched her for a while, and then retreated so that she
could resume her position on her nest.

Each morning as I go about my chores, I listen for the familiar songs
and keep my eyes open...always hoping to see something new.
I often carry my camera, just in case.
As you can see...it comes in handy. 

If you enjoy birdwatching, I highly recommend you find
a CD guide to their songs.  I promise a whole new world
will open itself up to you, too!


  1. What a nice story..great pictures as well..I love starting my day"at the farm"..Thanks

  2. What a wonderful idea...I too have become interested in the birdsa and keep wondering what they are. The cd sounds like a real plan.

  3. Wonderful pics and story. I love birds and see a lot of different ones here in the Pacific Northwest.


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