Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Not All the Fascinating Birds Are Readily Seen

Now that the Superdawg and I are back on the trail, I thought we would be doing a lot of birdwatching -- or birdwalking, as one might call it. I'm sure we will be spotting some pretty ones, but so far we are hearing birds more than seeing them.

Mockingbird
The secretive Bobwhite
In particular we are hearing more Bobwhites than I can remember since I was a kid in rural western Tennessee. You can hear them (or the males anyway) morning and afternoon back in the woods giving their distinct whistled call --- "bob-WHITE, bob-WHITE." But good luck on glimpsing them because they are uncommonly secretive. In fact, I've never had a good vision in my mind of what they look like. Not until I consulted my bird books did I remember that they are members of the quail family. Indeed, they are South Carolina's only native quail.

The other singer in full throat this spring is the Mockingbird. In this case, we see them flitting about rooftops and hedges while singing from their amazingly full and varied songbooks -- or just making up tunes as the mood strikes them. Is it good luck to have a Mockingbird on top of your house serenading you every day? If not it should be.

As we stretch out our walks, I'm sure we will encounter many other kinds of interesting birds, and we will report on them here.

©  Robert G. Holland


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