Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Bobolink Song Slowed Down

After a lecture on bird song appreciation containing some time spectrum analysis of bird song there was a request for an example of Bobolink song slowed down.

Here is a sonogram of normal bobolink song. I am pretty certain that this is one male.

Here is a sonogram of bobolink song slowed down to 1/3rd normal speed.

New River Birding Festival

It seems impossible for the week to be over already. Wasn't it just yesterday that we got there and started the fantastic voyage known as the New River Birding Festival in Fayetteville, WV?

This year saw a sharp increase in the number of participants. Their spirit and infectious enthusiasm for birds and nature was contagious. There is nothing like the look on someones face when they get a terrific look at a life bird. A bird that they have never seen before. The record for life birds had been 46 for the festival. This year that record was blasted out of the water with a stunning 70 species recorded as life birds for one participant that was a brand spanking new birder. Congratulations!

Among that wonderful destinations that we lead birders to is Cranberry Glades. This high elevation bog is a magical place, "a piece of Canada gone astray." The group that I was leading was the last to visit the glades. Our Saturday morning trip was meet with moderate rain that soon turned to broken sunshine. As the weather moderated the bird activity spiked. We were witness to Northern waterthrushes (a type of warbler) singing from the very top of several red spruce trees that dominate the wooded edge of the bog. Blackburnian warblers were a real hit found singing from the barley budding deciduous trees in the area of the parking lot. Wonderful views of a Hermit thrush were a delight as well.

However, the fellow that stole the show was a male Canada warbler that was a lifer for a number of the birders there that morning. He came right in to view in a rhododendron at the edge of the road and remained there singing for a very long time. It was impossible to think that we were walking away from a singing male Canada warbler in plain view - but we did. Other birds were calling to us and we had to move on.

Certainly the most sought after bird in this area is the Swainson's warbler. This denizen of dark rhododendron thickets is easy to hear but not at all easy to see. The birds in this area have a distinctive song that is loud, emphatic and ringing.

There were a number of people that were interested in botony as well as birds. Perhaps that best find was the rare yellow form of the red trillium.

By are the most sought after bird i

Well, I will have to add more to this later. I hope to include the song of the Swainson's warbler and a few more pictures and comments about the week.

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