29 April 2017 Rockport, Maine, USA 

Posts Tagged ‘red-winged blackbird’


Wednesday, April 19th, 2017
American Kestrel, Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine, 19 April 2017.

American Kestrel.

“There he is,” I said to Jack upon catching site of our first-of-year kestrel. I’ve had my eye peeled for several days for this dependable April arrival.

(And, yes, I talk to my dog.)

Beech Hill List
Beginning at 8:15 a.m., I hiked the open trail.

1. Northern Cardinal (v)
2. American Robin*
3. Eastern Towhee (v)
4. American Goldfinch**
5. Blue Jay (v)
6. American Crow*
7. Tufted Titmouse (v)
8. Pileated Woodpecker
9. Brown-headed Cowbird
10. Yellow-rumped Warbler (v)
11. American Kestrel†
12. Purple Finch (v)
13. Black-capped Chickadee** (v)
14. White-breasted Nuthatch (v)
15. Red-winged Blackbird
16. Canada Goose (v)


17. House Finch
18. Herring Gull
19. Chipping Sparrow (v)
20. White-breasted Nuthatch (v)

v = Voice only
*Also elsewhere
**Voice only elsewhere



Tuesday, April 18th, 2017
House Finch, Rockport, Maine, 18 April 2017.

House Finch.

I listened to a House Finch sing this morning,
as often I do, But
I also watched it sing,

Brown-headed Cowbird (singing), Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine, 18 April 2017.

Brown-headed Cowbird (singing).

cocking its head this way and that
as if to emphasize particular
notes and phrases.

I listened also to many other singing birds,
including two whose voices
I did not recognize.

Beech Hill List
Beginning at 8 a.m., I hiked the open trail.

1. American Robin (v)*
2. Tufted Titmouse (v)**
3. Blue Jay (v)
4. White-throated Sparrow
5. Song Sparrow**
6. Eastern Towhee
7. Ruby-crowned Kinglet
8. Brown-headed Cowbird
9. Black-capped Chickadee**
10. American Goldfinch**
11. Eastern Phoebe**
12. American Crow*
13. Northern Flicker
14. Turkey Vulture
15. Tree Swallow
16. Northern Cardinal (v)**
17. Herring Gull*
18. Field Sparrow (v)
19. Red-winged Blackbird
20. Yellow-rumped Warbler
21. White-breasted Nuthatch** (v)
22. Red-breasted Nuthatch (v)
23. Red-tailed Hawk
24. Purple Finch (v)


25. House Finch
26. Mourning Dove
27. European Starling
28. Rock Pigeon

v = Voice only
*Also elsewhere
**Voice only elsewhere


The Songs of Song Sparrows

Sunday, April 9th, 2017
Song Sparrow, Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine, 09 April 2017.

Song Sparrow.

The songs of Song Sparrows sound a lot alike: a collection of distinctive trills and chimes. But if you listen closely you can tell each song of this species is each unique. Each puts the trills and chimes in particular order, and utters a different number of chimes, and the chimes are of different pitches.

If you listen very closely—or simply have a musical ear—you can learn a particular Song Sparrow’s song.

Years ago I got to know such a song. Every spring about this time, the same bird would return to the same spot as if it had GPS technology hard-wired in its brain. I could tell it was him because of his song, and I’d always smile a little upon hearing that tune for the first time every April. For four or five years, I’d say.

Then one spring a Song Sparrow sang from my bird’s patch—and the song I heard was different. And my heart sank.

Today I listened to dueling sparrows singing from within a hundred feet of each other. Their songs seemed similar—perhaps they came from the same family, I thought—but when I listened more closely, I detected the difference in the sequence of their strings of ingredients in a typical Song Sparrow song.

Song Sparrows were singing all over the place today. Perhaps I’ll pick a particular song to get to know.

Beech Hill List
Beginning at 9 a.m., I hiked the open trail.

1. American Robin*
2. Blue Jay (v)
3. Song Sparrow**
4. Pileated Woodpecker
5. Black-capped Chickadee**
6. Tufted Titmouse** (v)
7. Northern Cardinal* (v)
8. White-breasted Nuthatch (v)
9. Northern Flicker (v)
10. American Crow*
11. Herring Gull*
12. Red-winged Blackbird
13. American Goldfinch** (v)
14. Purple Finch (v)


15. Mourning Dove
16. Turkey Vulture

v = Voice only
*Also elsewhere
**Voice only elsewhere


Bird Report is an intermittent record of what's outside my window in Rockport, Maine, USA (44°08'N latitude, 69°06'W longitude), and vicinity. —Brian Willson

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