Saturday, May 19, 2012

Makes Me Nervous

photo from Wikipedia

One of the many advantages to living out on the ol' prairie right smack dab in middle of nowhere in flyover country is the nominal quiet when the wind isn't blowing. This means that one can hear the birds sing, and there are plenty of those out here.

The mourning doves own the super early am and the late evening - I'm serenaded by dozens in the calm of a morning an hour or so before sunrise. Their calls all seem to sound the same at first, but then you start hearing little artistic differences between the birds - some hang on to a certain note longer, some are tenors and a few are bass - at any rate, it's somewhat soothing.

Another overachiever is the mockingbird. I seem to have a couple around every year, and the songs start well before sunrise while other birds are still logging inner eyelid study time. What is cool is the repertoire varies from day to day, and it's hard to tell just what those silly birds will pick up. I've heard that in cities, they mimic car horns, parking brakes on semis and so on.

But what I do find alarming is one song in this ol' boy's playlist. I swear I've heard a rattlesnake rattle, then a rabbit scream, only to realize it's the resident warbler - and that call shows up about once every other day or so.

What bothers me is I have to wonder where he heard that? That's gotta be a pretty good sized buzzer if it's hunting rabbits, if you know what I mean and I think that you do.


lotta joy said...

In Indiana we were serenaded daily and nearly ended up at the poor farm, setting out 40 pounds of peanuts and sunflower seeds each month for birds AND squirrels.

The squirrels would get impatient and look through the windows if we were late.

The bluejays would see us walking the dog and know we would be feeding them soon. They sent out the alarm and all other birds would flood our yard.

In Florida, a bird song is rare so I have to place our mockingbird at number one, since he knows every melody there is.

threecollie said...

Fantastic photo, and I would be nervous too! Ours mimics the skid steer sometimes and gives me sea gulls in the back yard, but no rattlesnakes, thank you, thank you, thank you. (We do have them here, a very famous den right across the river, but so far none of them have swum over...that I know of)

lisa said...

Fantastic shot! You are lucky to live where you do. I live right on top of a road and we get traffic that doesn't let you listen that closely to the birds unless you are out early enough in the morning. I get usely am and the one bird I do love to listen to is the Morning Dove!

Jeffro said...

While I'd like to take credit for that shot, that is actually from Wikipediea's page on the Northern Mockingbird. Should have credited it, and am gonna do so now.

Jess said...

From my experience, Mockingbirds don't pick up a new "song", until they have the opportunity to listen to it more than once. With that in mind, it might be prudent to wander the local area with a firearm, or brush hook.

Jeffro said...

I wish you hadn't said that, Jess!!!