Red Fox Screams

Here's a really amazing recording! This morning at 5:15am, as I walked out on my front door on my way to my car, a nearby Red Fox (I think) suddenly began giving loud barking screams, set against the dawn chorus. I was so very lucky to get this documented. My recorder was in my car, so I had to scurry to my car, hook up my parabolic mike, and … [Read more...]

Cat Concern

Everyone knows that house cats and wild birds are not the best of friends. Cats that wander yards and forest edge are likely to pick off a lot of birds, especially vulnerable young at fledging time. Follow a cat around and you're sure to discover that adult birds pay close attention to the cat's movements, and respond with alarm calls that key you … [Read more...]

Chipmunk Clucks Revisited

Sometimes one's memory is not so good. After telling a friend that I only had three solid observations of chipmunks responding to aerial predators by giving cluck calls, I went back to my original published study from 1978 and discovered that I had actually recorded a whopping seventeen (17) instances of this behavior, not just three as I had … [Read more...]

Hoots and Snorts

Lots of folks say that owls fly so silently that their prey cannot hear them coming. Well, this may be true when they're hunting, but on a quiet night, when an owl flies to a perch nearby, one can certainly hear the sounds of its wings. The date is May 1, 1993. I am at Delta Marsh along the south shore of Lake Manitoba. It is the middle of the … [Read more...]

Wapiti Wailings

Although I don't get to hear it all that often, one of my favorite sounds is that of our native elk bugling during the fall rut. Wapiti, as it is know to the native Americans, is a formidable creature. Adult elk are avoided by even grizzly bears as those massive antlers can mean terrible injury or even death. Many an unwise tourist has been … [Read more...]

Owl Screams and Elk Bugles

Everyone knows that Barred Owls hoot, but have you ever heard a Barred Owl scream? I'm not talking about the hissy screeches made by begging young—I'm referring to full-bodied screams produced by adults? I have only heard this several times in my life and I've never been able to record it. In fact, I was of the opinion that nobody had a good … [Read more...]

The Chipping Munk

With regard to yesterday's Clucking Munk post, which featured a recording of the Eastern Chipmunk's "aerial predator alarm call," some folks asked me to provide an example of its counterpart: the "ground predator alarm call." So I've decided to do just that, as well as briefly describe the differences. The ground predator alarm is a loud, … [Read more...]

The Clucking Munk

Oh my, what praytell shall I post this evening? It's been a long, busy day, so whatever I do can't take too much effort. Let me see what I have sitting here on my desktop (computer desktop, that is). Hmmmm ... how about a recording of ... a couple of Eastern Chipmunks giving "aerial predator alarm calls" in response to a Broad-winged Hawk perched … [Read more...]

Kentucky Marsh

When it comes to soundscapes, the night choruses interest me most, and especially the remarkable array of sounds heard in marshes and swamps. Wherever I go, I seek out wetlands and the magic they hold. I made the following recording in the spring of 1995 at a favorite swampy area in Land Between the Lakes, Kentucky. It was nearly midnight. … [Read more...]

Beaver Mumblings

It is difficult to capture great soundscapes that feature the voices of mammals. Why? Because most mammals keep pretty quiet as they go about their business. Sure, coyote and wolf packs sound off with great enthusiasm every now and then, squirrels and chipmunks chatter and chip when excited, and deer snort and bound away when alarmed. But for the … [Read more...]