More Bird Fun

Not necessarily with our recently departed terrordactyl chicks…


I was out in the back today, looking up in the trees at the end of our yard and into the trees down the hill. (This picture will be relevant later as well.)

There were crows out and about, at least a murder and a half, making a wonderful racket. Finches everywhere (along with the mockingbirds, humming birds, mourning doves, thrushes, sparrows, etc), with most of the finch activity being between trees and way, way up at the top of these. But I noticed a couple, maybe three, maybe more, that looked small, maybe without a full head of feathers, hopping and fluttering between branches about 25-30 feet up.

Could have been fledgling flight school. I’m just sayin’.

Meanwhile, the folks at Cornell who run the wonderful Merlin Bird ID app shared a couple of videos of their red-tail hawk fledglings, and while I don’t typically share other folks’ videos here, given the subject matter it seemed appropriate. Watch the reaction of the two siblings as gravity and a gust of wind win and life choices are questioned:

BTW, he was fine!

Back on this coast, while I was burning mean (too literally) on the Fourth of July BBQ, there was a bird call that I’ve never, EVER heard before. And it was *LOUD* and close, up in those trees that I showed you at the back edge of the hill.

I’ve condensed about five or six minutes of sound into just the parts where it was calling, about every 30-45 seconds. No clue.

But wait, there are apps that will ID bird song, right? (The Merlin app doesn’t.) So let’s run that through one of those! Right?

Canada Goose? REALLY? I mean, I’m not Audubon Society Hall of Fame candidate, but this bird was CLOSE, really LOUD, and moving around up in the trees. First of all, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Canada Goose in a tree, and if one was there and just twenty or thirty feet from me I sure as shit would have seen it!!

Shall we try again, maybe focus on that second set of calls that seem different from the first one?

Yeah, well, if I had somehow missed the Canada Goose, I still wouldn’t have missed the human being with the noise maker in the tree…

I checked the supplied sounds for the California Quail and they’re at least sort of close-ish to what I heard, but quail don’t perch in trees either.

The mystery continues…


Filed under Critters, Photography, Video

3 responses to “More Bird Fun

  1. Well, I’ve been through Xeno-canto for you, filtering for California birds I thought it could be… although I don’t actually know anything about California birds specifically. I didn’t check everything, just species I thought it sounded like it might be.
    The best match for voice I’d say is the Pileated Woodpecker. I spotted that early, and really, nothing else was any closer. I checked all the woodpeckers, sapsuckers and Flicker, which is an outside possibility, and owls, because it had the sort of voice like some of the small southern European owls (which can be very loud), but no joy. Jays, no, although Stellar’s could copy just about anything. It does remind me of something, but that’s a seabird, which I think is unlikely. None of the smaller songbirds I checked sounded likely.
    It’s a good recording. If you put it on Xeno-canto’s blog, someone would probably pop up straight away with ‘That’s a….’
    Good luck!


    • Thanks for the heads up on Xeno-canto, I wasn’t aware of them before. Now I’ve got an account, uploaded the sound clip, and we’ll see what they might think. For all I know, “humans” might be the answer – there were folks having their own BBQ down below on the hill, maybe they found my blog and are just messing with my head!


  2. PS… those matches given by the apps are laughably bad. Better give them one star so others don’t go in blind…


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