NatureWatch by Category: Birds

Carolina Wren – Alarm Calls

We have a pair of Carolina Wrens nesting in a gutter next to our porch overhang. Quite often, the male sits on the nearby limb of an oak and sings his heart out. So today I decided to videotape his singing performance. I set up my tripod and camera and within a minute or two he showed up, giving one song from a very nice-looking perch, and then … [Read more...]

Bittern at Munuscong

Munuscong Potholes is a tiny sparkling gem at the eastern edge of Michigan's Upper Peninsula. I discovered it this spring while searching for Le Conte's Sparrow to record. It is only some 30 acres of wet sedge meadow surrounding a couple of small, cattail-lined ponds. The soundscape was populated by Red-winged Blackbirds, Sandhill Cranes, several … [Read more...]

Baird’s Sparrow — A Vanishing Jewel

Imagine my excitement. I have been looking for Baird's Sparrows for several years, it will be a life bird for me. However, every field that I have explored within this species range has been empty of this gorgeous little sparrow. My dear friend, Julie Zickefoose, was leading a birding trip in North Dakota — maybe she has found this elusive prairie … [Read more...]

Sorting Out the Singers at the Pond

And that brings us to a third species heard in the recording – the Eastern Meadowlark - a species you might not associate with a pond. They’re here because of the large meadow areas that adjoin this pond. Meadowlarks are fairly large and quite striking, but it’s amazing how well they disappear into the color and texture of the meadow. Like many … [Read more...]

Invitation to a Concert at the Pond

Greetings, everyone! Lisa Rainsong here. I’m a professional musician who is also a naturalist. When I’m not in the classroom teaching music theory or performing onstage as a professional singer, I’m probably out in the field recording the songs of birds, crickets, katydids, amphibians, and anything else that “sings.” When Lang invited me … [Read more...]

The Miracle of Birdsong

Dawn chorus featuring American Robin, Willow Flycatcher, Song Sparrow, and Red-winged Blackbird. Recorded June 28, 2012 Canaan Valley NWR, West Virginia. ©Wil Hershberger. As May waxes on, the woodlands, fields, and thickets seemingly explode with the songs of birds. From the relative quiet of winter, the presence of all these songs is a retreat … [Read more...]

Singing Robin Success!

I have been planning to put together a NatureWatch profile featuring the American Robin, but I've been missing some really good singing sequences. So on this clear-sky early April morning, I set out to remedy the situation ... and what good luck I had! I arrived at the "Cornell Plantations Arboretum" area promptly at 7am, just before the sun … [Read more...]

Robin Drops Berry

Hi all! I was out this morning testing my video gear and I came across a robin feeding on the over-wintered berries of a Bittersweet vine, growing in an apple tree. I thought that I'd snatched a nice clip showing him swallowing a berry, but when I viewed it later in my studio, I was surprised to discover that he actually dropped the berry ... … [Read more...]

Twilight Tremolo

Listening to the sounds of night can be rewarding and sometimes scary (see Lang's post). Armed with some knowledge of what these sounds are will assuage your fears, creating a feeling of joy and reward when you hear something that you recognize. Among these amazing night-time sounds are the calls of the Eastern Screech-owl. These diminutive … [Read more...]

Mysterious Voices of the Night

In the world of nature sounds, mysteries abound, especially when it comes to weird and puzzling voices of the night … Not long ago a woman by the name of Gail Canterbury heard a strange squealing sound late one evening in her backyard near Cortland, New York. Her husband Don made a recording with the video camera in his cell phone. He then … [Read more...]