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Bird ID satisfaction

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InnerLight posted 6/4/2014 22:50 PM

The last couple of days I heard a bird high in the tree tops sing three notes, like a whistle, Ta-daaaaaaa-ta, Ta-daaaaaa-Ta...over and over.

I followed the sound, to a pine, and used binoculars to see a grayish bird on a dead snag at the top, a white patch on the front, pale green, grey sides, a bit darker on top of its head, slight head tuft.

Looked it up in sibley's, maybe an olive sided flycatcher..??..listened to the bird call recording on and


That's my bird!
An olive sided flycatcher.

Mystery solved.
Bird detective success.
Very satisfying.

And the bird books all describe the call as 'quick THREE beers'!

purplejacket4 posted 6/4/2014 22:52 PM

I love listening to birds too. Except the mockingbirds here are a bit show offy.

Lionne posted 6/4/2014 23:01 PM

Ahhh! Another bird geek! Love it!

I have great ears, bad eyes. And the apps for bird song are just, meh!

The trickiest song we've had recently is a Carolina Wren. Hard to spot. And the song variation is so extreme, or maybe our bird just has a strange regional accent !

But it is so satisfying to finally figure it out...

Sad in AZ posted 6/4/2014 23:04 PM

Very long-time birder here I've been birding since I was 8. I love birding by sound. It's even more important here on the east coast because of the thickness of the brush.

I use the iBird app on my phone for birding by ear, but my Sibley's are very well used and worn.

Don't diss the Southern Mockingbird, pj They have my second favorite song (first is the Western Meadowlark )

Lionne posted 6/4/2014 23:25 PM

I have ibird and the Audubon. And adore the Mockers
But my favorite is the Catbird.

This thread needs pictures!

heartbroken_kk posted 6/4/2014 23:55 PM

I have the Sibley Birds app on my Android phone and think it's the most expensive app Ive ever paid for but it is worth every penny.

I love bird songs and I'm a pretty good mimic. Birds are awesome.

heartbroken_kk posted 6/4/2014 23:57 PM

Also.... what WHEEEE Who?

Lucky2HaveMe posted 6/5/2014 08:22 AM

Love the birds too... 'cept not at 5 a.m. Why can't they be quiet until about 6 or so

TrulyReconciled posted 6/5/2014 08:36 AM

Looked it up in sibley's, maybe an olive sided flycatcher..??..listened to the bird call recording on

tushnurse posted 6/5/2014 09:23 AM

Cool I like to do this as well.

We have bees, and couple summers ago I noticed a bird I had never really seen around before, and it would sit on our deck rail, or the branches for the trees further out, and would snatch the honeybees right out of the air, and had a pretty cool song.

It took a bit of research, but found these are Summer Tanningers, and they love Honeybees. They now nest near our house every summer.

TrulyReconciled posted 6/5/2014 12:00 PM

Summer Tanager (piranga rubra)

InnerLight posted 6/5/2014 13:15 PM

Cool pix, thanks TR.

Birding by sound sure helps, because there is a lot of thick brush, and there are an awful lot of little brown birds, or grey birds.

Last week I id'd a grey gnatcatcher. It looked a little like a bewick's wren or a wrentit or a bushtit, but not really like any of them.

I have the audubon app, and the peterson's app (I use that one less) Most pro bird people I know use iBird. I find really helpful. These days the online recordings really help.

I love the feeling of being outside and feeling like I know who is where, and who my bird neighbors are. I am more a native then, feeling like I belong. Otherwise, I am a tourist in an alien land.

Lately I've been using bird language and interpretation of their alarm calls to locate the grey fox in my yard. I have tripled the amount of times I see him or her. Birds watch for everything and comment on the animals moving through the brush. Great allies.

[This message edited by InnerLight at 1:17 PM, June 5th (Thursday)]

TrulyReconciled posted 6/5/2014 13:38 PM

I refuse to Google Image "bushtit" ...

Sad in AZ posted 6/5/2014 13:41 PM

I refuse to Google Image "bushtit"
is right...

I didn't think you'd have to...

You should have seen the shit I got from jPapa for posting a picture of my beer in a tufted titmouse glass...

tushnurse posted 6/5/2014 14:55 PM

I refuse to Google Image "bushtit

And yes TR that's the guy.
They think Honey bees are yummy. I have to bite my tongue when I see them, because H wants to "get rid" of them since they are eating his bees.

I said leave em be, we have 10 hives with at least 60,000 bees each I don't they can eat enough to make an impact.

Rebreather posted 6/5/2014 17:13 PM

I have a pair of Mountain Chickadees in one of my courtyard bird houses, and House Wrens in the other. The Chickadees are so adorable and very, very busy! They are called "cheeseburger birds" in these parts because their song sounds like CHEESE! Bur! Ger!

jjct posted 6/5/2014 18:46 PM

I've been using bird language and interpretation of their alarm calls to locate the grey fox in my yard.

I kept hearing the Jays' alarm message (didn't know what it was) until it bugged me enough to walk out and look up. I saw the Jays, but then, a large hawk took off - so I figured it out.

Years ago while in Kentucky, a guy said; "You wanna see a hawk?" Then he made 'some call sound', we kept talking, sure enough, about a minute later he pointed up and said; "There he is!"

I recognize indigo bunting - so dang purty!
Bluebird lovers despise sparrows,
red winged blackbirds bring me back to my childhood.

Yep. I'm a bird nerd.
(just not as nerdy as some of you app peoples)

jjct posted 6/5/2014 19:04 PM

In fact, this cutie patootie was under the parking structure earlier this week!

cmego posted 6/5/2014 19:24 PM

We keep a birding book on the dining room table, and mark/identify the ones that come to the feeder. My 10 year old dd loves to bird watch. Even my 8 year old ds can name a few of them now.

My latest favorite is a Eastern Towhee. Never seen one dance around the bottom of the feeder until this year.

InnerLight posted 6/5/2014 21:03 PM

Towhees are a ground feeder so they are super aware of their environment to stay alive. That makes them a good bird language bird. We have Spotted towhees here and they shriek when they're alarmed. They follow my cat around yelling at her. I listen for their alarms and if it's not about my cat it's often about the fox.

Jjct, jays make a 'sneak, sneak' call for hawks, I've heard this too.

One time I heard jays and other birds all yelling at once. I walked down the road, following the sound and saw a great horned owl, all the birds were mobbing it. It was so cool, like a cat with wings.

This is a good resource for bird language.

Jon young is a great teacher and I've really enjoyed his classes, and his book, What the Robin Knows

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