25 May 2020 Rockport, Maine, USA 

The Sound

Thursday, May 21st, 2020
The Lazuli Buntings at home, East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 21 May 2020.
The Lazuli Buntings at home.

At 5:50 a.m. this morning, a sound out my bedroom window brought me immediately from sleeping soundly to alert and awake. It was the distinctive, bright whistle of a mountain lion.

I only learned the sound a couple weeks ago, when I first heard it—and soon after saw (at a distance) what animal was doing the whistling. I’d then researched the sound online a bit, and apparently internalized its pitch and timbre. Which is why, upon awakening—instead of running for my camera and trying for photos—I lay there perfectly still with my eyes wide open.

A minute or two later, after I heard the cat’s final kip-kip as it moved away up the hill, I double-checked the recordings I’d found, Sure enough, that had to be a cougar. Later I heard a security cam on a street not far from me had captured a pic of a mountain lion this a.m. So it wasn’t a dream after all.

Thus, today’s hike with Captain Jack came with a little extra distraction—but the only critters I encountered up there were birds.

Grandeur Peak Area List
Beginning at 8 a.m., I hiked some 1,500 feet up a mountain.

1. Black-chinned Hummingbird
2. Black-billed Magpie*
3. Black-headed Grosbeak
4. Song Sparrow** (v)
5. Black-capped Chickadee
6. House Finch*
7. Lazuli Bunting
8. Spotted Towhee
9. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
10. Lesser Goldfinch* (v)
11. Pine Siskin (v)
12. Chipping Sparrow (v)
13. Warbling Vireo
14. Woodhouse’s Scrub-jay
15. Chukar
16. Violet-green Swallow


17. California Quail
18. American Robin
19. Mourning Dove
20. Eurasian Collared Dove


Mountain Lion (heard whistling)

(v) Voice only
*Also elsewhere
**Voice only elsewhere

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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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