Ever heard a muskrat squeal? Well, I had no idea they even made any sound until I heard the following recording by my buddy Ted Mack. During a visit to Crescent Lake National Wildlife Refuge during the spring of 1994. One morning, Ted set his soundscape microphone in a grassy marsh. To his amazement, a pair of muskrats soon swam by, squealing excitedly at one another and then diving into the water:
Muskrats giving squealing calls in marsh; possibly courtship behavior. Early am, 30 April 1994, Crescent Lake National Wildlife Refuge, Nebraska. Recorded by Ted Mack.
Listen also for the honks of a Canada Goose, the distant hoots of a Great Horned Owl, and the periodic swishing sound of wind blowing the grass,
Quit a unique recording, huh? Wonder why I’ve called it Muskrat Ramble”? If you’re an old-timer you might guess. It’s because my dad used to play a jazz tune by that name, a piece written by Kid Ory and played by Louis Armstrong and his band. Would the real “Muskrat Ramble” please stand up …
Muskrat Ramble by Kid Ory, played by Louis Armstrong’s band, circa 1926.