24 June 2017 Rockport, Maine, USA 

Posts Tagged ‘white-breasted nuthatch’

Foggy Morning

Saturday, June 17th, 2017
Gray Catbird, Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine, 17 June 2017.

Gray Catbird.

Common Yellowthroat, Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine, 17 June 2017.

Common Yellowthroat.

American Redstart, Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine, 17 June 2017.

American Redstart.

Savannah Sparrow, Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine, 17 June 2017.

Savannah Sparrow.

Chestnut-sided Warbler, Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine, 17 June 2017.

Chestnut-sided Warbler.

Beech Hill List
Beginning at 9:15 a.m., I hiked the open trail.

1. Red-eyed Vireo
2. American Redstart**
3. Black-and-white Warbler (v)
4. Common Yellowthroat
5. Chestnut-sided Warbler
6. American Robin*
7. Wood Thrush (v)
8. American Goldfinch
9. Eastern Towhee
10. American Crow*
11. White-breasted Nuthatch (v)
12. Eastern Phoebe**
13. Purple Finch (v)
14. Alder Flycatcher (v)
15. Song Sparrow
16. Yellow Warbler (v)
17. Cedar Waxwing
18. Gray Catbird**
19. Ovenbird (v)
20. Mourning Dove* (v)
21. Northern Cardinal (v)
22. Tree Swallow
23. Field Sparrow
24. Veery (v)
25. Savannah Sparrow
26. Black-throated Green Warbler (v)


27. Rock Pigeon
28. Herring Gull

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


Hours on the Hill

Sunday, June 4th, 2017
Yellow Warbler, Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine, 04 June 2017.

Yellow Warbler.

Took two Beech Hill hikes today—one with my dog, and another with a bird group. All told, I walked around up there for five or six hours. Had a lot of fun, too.

Beech Hill List
Beginning at 9:15 a.m.—and again at 3 p.m.—I hiked all trails.

1. Chestnut-sided Warbler**
2. Ovenbird**
3. Black-throated Green Warbler (v)
4. Red-eyed Vireo
5. American Redstart (v)
6. Yellow Warbler
7. American Goldfinch
8. Black-capped Chickadee (v)
9. Eastern Towhee
10. Gray Catbird
11. Veery
12. Common Yellowthroat (v)
13. Alder Flycatcher
14. Mourning Dove (v)
15. Song Sparrow
16. Eastern Wood-pewee (v)
17. Northern Cardinal (v)
18. Tree Swallow
19. Purple Finch
20. Turkey Vulture
21. Eastern Phoebe*
22. Black-and-white Warbler (v)
23. American Crow*
24. Field Sparrow
25. Osprey (v)
26. White-breasted Nuthatch
27. Blue Jay (v)
28. Rose-breasted Grosbeak (v)
29. Hermit Thrush
30. Eastern Bluebird
31. American Robin*
32. Ruby-throated Hummingbird
33. Barred Owl (v)


34. Herring Gull
35. Chipping Sparrow

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


Bird Brains

Friday, June 2nd, 2017
Yellow Warbler, Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport, Maine, 02 June 2017.

Yellow Warbler.

While walking in the woods today, listening to the songs of Eastern Wood-pewees, I got to thinking about bird brains.

If you haven’t heard a pewee sing, you’re missing out. The song is wistful, pensive, slow, intermittent, and takes a good while to complete. It begins with a slurred “Pee-oh-wee”—and the pause that follows makes you think, Simple enough. Then after ten or fifteen seconds, you hear a second “Pee-oh-wee!” just like the first. Well, that’s the song, you think. That’s the sum of it. But no. Although what follows another 10 or 15 seconds later is a third call like the first two, but after the third pause, you hear: “Peee-ohh!”

This bird has a lazy, languid, four-part song that lasts a good 40 or 45 seconds.

Somehow it keeps track. Something about this bird’s brain causes it to stretch out its delivery, to hint at false assurances before revealing a final surprise.

Ospreys building a nest atop the Rockland Fire Station, 02 June 2017.

Ospreys building a nest atop the Rockland Fire Station.

Every creature experiences life differently. Dogs smell the world as we cannot. Bats echolocate. Octopi are astonishingly intelligent but experience a wholly different reality. And birds have magnets in their heads—or GPS devices (or somesuch) that let them geolocate with impressive precision.

But it’s the songs of birds that most fascinate me, that make me think about their brains. Many (most?) sing more than one tune—like today’s Chestnut-sided Warblers, alternately singing Type 1 and Type 2 songs. The voices of Savannah Sparrows and Black-billed Cuckoos seem so soft and subtle and tenuous but cover impressively great distances.

Birdsong. So varied and complex. I wonder if the human brain is even capable of decoding the cipher.

Beech Hill List
Beginning at 7:45 a.m., I hiked all trails.

1. Wild Turkey (v)
2. Red-eyed Vireo**
3. Ovenbird
4. Black-throated Green Warbler (v)
5. Chestnut-sided Warbler**
6. Common Yellowthroat (v)
7. Brown-headed Cowbird (v)
8. Northern Cardinal** (v)
9. Eastern Towhee
10. American Redstart (v)
11. Scarlet Tanager (v)
12. Pileated Woodpecker (drumming)
13. Blue Jay** (v)
14. Alder Flycatcher
15. Black-capped Chickadee
16. White-breasted Nuthatch (v)
17. Gray Catbird*
18. Song Sparrow
19. Yellow Warbler**
20. American Goldfinch (v)
21. Tree Swallow
22. Red-tailed Hawk
23. Eastern Phoebe*
24. Savannah Sparrow
25. Field Sparrow (v)
26. Chipping Sparrow* (v)
27. American Robin*
28. Hermit Thrush (v)
29. Eastern Wood-pewee


30. House Finch (v)
31. Mourning Dove (v)
32. European Starling
33. Osprey

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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