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Monday, September 03, 2007

Bird notes [updated]

[updated Sept. 5, 2007; links to Cardinal photos after first paragraph]

On Friday we had a baby cardinal learning to fly between my porch and both of my neighbors' porches. I sat down on the front porch before I knew what was going on. Just as I was trying to figure out why the female cardinal was yelling so much, the baby came flying straight at me. I jumped up and ran into the driveway just in time to avoid being landed on. The baby, which was fluffy and had no red, then somehow attached itself to the screen door. Laura got a picture from inside the house and as soon as she posts it on Flickr, I'll link to it. Needless to say, the mother was quite upset. However, the father seemed completely nonchalant about the goings on.

Please view the large versions of these if you don't mind. Thank you, Laura! I'm so glad you were there.

It's the end of summer and the bats have returned. I can't see them, but because of the street lights, I can see their flying shadows on the houses. Eerie.

The screech owls seem to have left for the summer. I'm looking forward to the owls that come here in the middle of winter.

I've been watching some new birds in a partially developed commercial park (formerly Allis Chalmers, later Fiat Allis, then leveled, now Park South) near my house. I just noticed them for the first time a week or so ago. I don't know what they are. I'm thinking they're a field bird of some sort (if that's even a kind of bird). They're hanging out in the tall grass around one of those ponds that's really an open storm sewer. Size-wise, they're about halfway between a robin and a pigeon. They're tan with white stripes (and maybe some black) along the edge of their wings. They make a loud noise somewhere between a squeak and a squawk. During daylight hours they fly level with the horizon, and at night they fly sideways. Or, so it seems. Interesting.

One morning last week when I happened to be up at the crack of dawn, I heard a bird which I have never heard before around here. But, I have heard the sound. Remember when Letterman used to have kids come on the show and do bird imitations? Well, this was one of those. It was one long single note. I wish I knew what it was. Anyway, I didn't see the bird and only heard it twice. It sounded like it was on the ground as opposed to flying or up in a tree.

Posted by Marie at September 3, 2007 11:07 PM

Comments

i'm going to guess nighthawk, for either the sound or the ones in the field. they're migrating right now.

another possibility for the one you heard might be the gray catbird; they sound like a cat or a baby screaming.

Posted by: jason at September 4, 2007 5:52 AM

I've seen juvenile cardinals before. They're definitely ugly ducklings. Jason's guess about the nighthawks in the field sounds good to me. Although in Maryland, I usually see them at night rather than during the day. I always see them flying high above Baltimore Orioles night games in May devouring insects attracted by the lights.
K-

Posted by: Kem White Author Profile Page at September 4, 2007 9:23 AM

Posted by: John at October 13, 2007 3:37 AM