For the birds

My daughter bought me the set of cd’s "Birding by Ear." 

I took a field ornithology class about 30 years ago at the Terra Alta Biological Station of West Virginia University.  A group of students walked (or waded) behind an older, charismatic wildlife professor.  When he heard a song that he was going to teach us he would waggle his index finger like he was scolding a tree top until the bird stopped singing.  When the song began so did the wagging finger.  He would then tell us about the bird, its habits and its habitat.  I loved both the class and professor Wiley.

30 years later I get a job where my office is beside a lake with a trail around it.  I hear bird songs I once knew but have now forgotten.  My wonderful daughter fills the void with a great Christmas present.  Now, I listen to the cd as I drive to work.

Yesterday was my first walk around the lake after the holidays.  Even in the dead of winter, I was impressed by the number of bird songs and calls I could hear.  I learned from the cd that there is a Carolina Chickadee whose song is different from the Black-capped Chickadee with whom I was familiar in my youth.   On my first day out I heard the former’s song and knew the difference!

I also heard a Wood Peewee and in trying to spy him out discovered a Tufted Titmouse!  Needless to say, my walk was much enriched.  (Although my lap time was greatly reduced!)

Thanks Mary!

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