Sunday, May 24, 2009

Learning the sounds of Bull River

We have a lot of wildlife in the area, and a lot of people that love that wildlife. So, when we heard what we thought was someone strangling a cat, several rather loud 'mreow' sounds, we had to go find out what the heck was going on. We took our beverages (it was happy hour) and went part way down the access road so we could see the 'townsite'. Nothing out of the ordinary was happening and the 'cat' was quiet. Figuring all was good in Bull River we went back to Dusty Acres, resumed our places on our 'Mayberry' porch, washed some more dust out of our throats and listened to the birds.

It seems maybe the birds have been having a bit too much happy hour cause they keep flying into the windows. Most of the windows have the wooden grills in them, and are a might dusty, so it is not as if there are these are sparkling clean windows that the birds can't see. Although I have known a person or two to walk smack into a sliding glass door so I shouldn't be so judgmental of these flighty birds.

This poor little one, a chipping sparrow, was recovering after a run in with a window. He was pretty dopey, but you will be happy to know he made a full recovery and flew away. But not before I stuck my camera in its cute little face. He looks annoyed, don't you think? Like his beak is a bit sore?

I got another sweet surprise when I was strolling around the yard making sure there wasn't anything that was unsafe for Jaina when she was ready to play outside. A rather large something started moving under the shrubs. Never even thinking it might be a skunk (which have frequented Dusty Acres in the past) I stuck my head down under the shrubs for a better look. You'll be happy to know, it was not a skunk, just a good sized bird that look kind of like a chicken. At first I thought it was maybe a young turkey, but after consultation with the Bull River experts I have since been discovered that it was a Blue Grouse. This rather docile bird strutted around in the shade underneath the Caragana bushes pretending that I wasn't crouched there not three feet away snapping photos.

We have spotted a few other birds hanging around the bird feeder. Like this beautiful American Goldfinch; the yellow on this bird is brilliant. A couple of Western Tanagers have been flying around, but no photos yet.

But back to that 'cat'. I really could not imagine anyone around here hurting an animal so we surmised it must be a bird of some sort. Out came our trusty bird book, Birds of the Rockies. There is a bird, called a Catbird, that makes a 'meow'' type sound. We started watching for this 'Catbird'. Quite elusive this cat bird, but we could still hear it every afternoon. Back to the local experts we went inquiring about the 'strangled cat' sound and could it possibly be a Catbird.

You got to love our neighbours, they just smile and chuckle when we start asking 'how' and 'what' questions. They are so nice. No, they told us, we are not strangling cats, but there is a Bull River resident that has some peacocks. Did you know that a peacock sounds like a stressed cat? I didn't.

But now I am really confused; I have been studying this bird book. According to this book, a Catbird makes a sound like a cat. So you would think that a Cowbird makes a 'Moo' sound. Apparently not. This birding stuff is pretty tricky.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Joan;
    Finally great to meet you in person, you guys did a wonderful job at the wedding and next time I come home I will some see your craft space.