Spring Sounds

22 Mar

In the mornings now the birds are singing.  At dusk the birds are singing.  In between some are singing.  It is wonderful to be able to welcome the different species return based on the songs  heard.  The Killdeer are back.

This morning as Hawthorne and I walked in the dark we heard at least one male American Woodcock.  And you will too, if you click on the link.  They eat worms and hunt them with their feet and bill.

These beautiful little birds have a fascinating way of drawing attention to themselves: “The male American Woodcock has an elaborate display to attract females. He gives repeated “peents” on the ground, often on remaining patches of snow in the early spring. After a time he flies upward in a wide spiral. As he gets higher, his wings start to twitter. After reaching a height of 70-100 m (230-328 ft) the twittering becomes intermittent, and the bird starts chirping as he starts to descend. He comes down in a zig-zag, diving fashion, chirping as he goes. As he comes near the ground he silently lands, near a female if she is present. Then he starts peenting again.”

Since one bird gives a variety of sounds and moves about it is difficult to determine if there is more than one male in the field.  But it is a sure bet there is at least one female.

It is funny to think that both the Killdeer and Woodcock are classified as shorebirds. I have been to the shore less than ten times in my life.  Yet these birds, to me, are birds of the plowed fields (Killdeer) and scrubby wood patches (Woodcock), for that is where I have met them my whole life.

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