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Birds sing to their eggs


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An interesting read about some of the world's most musical critters. I think there is some truth there and it's fascinating. Crows seem to get a Phd from the get go anyway.

 

https://getpocket.com/explore/item/birds-sing-to-their-eggs-and-this-song-might-help-their-babies-survive-climate-change?utm_source=pocket-newtab

It took a chunk of my life to get here and I am still not sure where "here" is.
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Down here in Orlando we have a lot of cardinals. And I have bird feeders in view of my living room window. For some months I noticed a single repeated note. And it was constant. Repeated usually 3-5 times. But it was lower pitched than I've been able to find on YouTube. This particular call has subsided as far as I've noticed. I still hear the repeated note thing but with more variation.

 

I'm wondering if this singing (3-5 slow repeated notes) was also a nesting behavior.

 

What I'm describing was lower pitched than this YT...

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Nice, thanks Dave!

 

I am going to post a link for videos of the Lyrebird. It is a fantastic mimic and has so many different sounds that one video won't come close to covering it. Crazy cool. I like when it does the Nikon film camera with a motor drive, that is fabulous.

 

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=lyrebird

It took a chunk of my life to get here and I am still not sure where "here" is.
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I love sitting on the porch and listening to the mocking birds. My neighborhood has an abundance of them. I've thought about using a synth to record a pattern, maybe a measure of Bach in their range, and playing it over and over to see if they learn it.
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I love sitting on the porch and listening to the mocking birds. My neighborhood has an abundance of them. I've thought about using a synth to record a pattern, maybe a measure of Bach in their range, and playing it over and over to see if they learn it.

 

We had lots of mockingbirds in Fresno. Late at night I would whistle something and the nearby birds would pick it up. It spread like ripples in a pond, miles in all directions.

I LOVED that!

It took a chunk of my life to get here and I am still not sure where "here" is.
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  • 3 months later...
I finally discovered my mystery bird call. It seems to be the Tufted Titmouse. I keep wondering how bird calls/language evolved. I also wonder how it might have influenced early human music. Pondering the unknowable perhaps.

 

 

Nice! I would contend that bird songs and calls still influence human music to this day. We are spectacular mimics in our own right. The sounds are beautiful and the timing is also a consideration. Lots of great critter sounds to incorporate into our own universal language! :)

It took a chunk of my life to get here and I am still not sure where "here" is.
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I don't use air conditioning by choice. 30 years ago I planted Live Oak, Royal Poinciana, Deem, Sea Grape, Gumbo Limbo and Sabal Palm trees all over my half acre. Plus I have a bird feeder.

 

It's autumn, so the mockingbirds have joined the chorus of blue jays, grackles, wrens, woodpeckers, doves and others. Days are in the mid 80s, nights are in the mid 70s, and the humidity is down. In other words, perfect weather. The squirrels often join in the chorus.

 

Notes â«

Bob "Notes" Norton

Owner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com

Style and Fake disks for Band-in-a-Box

The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com >^. .^< >^. .^<

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I don't use air conditioning by choice. 30 years ago I planted Live Oak, Royal Poinciana, Deem, Sea Grape, Gumbo Limbo and Sabal Palm trees all over my half acre. Plus I have a bird feeder.

 

It's autumn, so the mockingbirds have joined the chorus of blue jays, grackles, wrens, woodpeckers, doves and others. Days are in the mid 80s, nights are in the mid 70s, and the humidity is down. In other words, perfect weather. The squirrels often join in the chorus.

 

Notes â«

 

I'm not sure if you're referring to the late afternoon chorus I sometimes hear, when they (the birds) take turns calling out - it's almost as if they're taking attendance....I saw a blue jay once making the call , and have assumed it was all blue jays. But likely other birds too. I heard once, either on NPR or a PBS nature documentary that no one's quite sure what they're doing. I am aware of "contact calling" between individual animals. But the chorus calling ?

 

In my back yard I have my pollinator garden. I enjoy witnessing nature.

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The calling is all day, but most active in the morning and late afternoon.

 

The back 1/4 acre of my lit is filled with native plants that attract bees, butterflies and the occasional hummingbird. I live near a protected wetland and I have rabbits, squirrels, and other wildlife visiting my hard. I had a gopher tortoise eating some of the native plants in the back yesterday.

 

I don't keep a lawn and I only mow the right-of-way on the street, about 6 feet around my house, and under the clothesline (solar clothes dryer).

 

I don't use the AC, I use the clothesline to dry clothes, I have LED light bulbs, I painted the roof bright white, I don't keep a lawn, and planted over 2 dozen trees to help the environment.

 

Notes â«

Bob "Notes" Norton

Owner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com

Style and Fake disks for Band-in-a-Box

The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com >^. .^< >^. .^<

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I miss the mockingbirds, we don't have them up here in Bellingham. I used to whistle riffs to them and they would pick those up and pass them along. At 3am when all is still it sounds amazing when it spreads.

 

We do have some cool birds up here though. One day as I was walking to my car, I saw a large seagull with a tortilla chip in it's beak, standing at attention in the parking lot. It was surrounded by 3 crows, they were quite a bit smaller but they triangulated the gull and kept slowly circling, lunging here, and leaping back there. They had a strategy and kept at it. I watched for a good while but I needed to be elsewhere so I drove off.

 

The gull was trapped, if it bit into the tortilla chip it would break up all over the ground. If it stood there long enough, the crows would mess it up little by little and get at least some of the tortilla chip.

Crows work together, as a team. Not so many birds do that. I've seen them chase off hawks and eagles and once they had an enormous owl cornered in the crotch of a tree. They knew better than to get too close but they gave it a rash of crap, noisy, coming at it from all angles. The owl seemed fairly safe, it's back was protected. I doubt it was happy there...

It took a chunk of my life to get here and I am still not sure where "here" is.
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Many, many years ago, before I knew not to feed the wildlife, Mrs. Notes and I were in the Everglades National Park having lunch. We threw a couple of Cheetos to the gulls, who would catch them in mid-air. This amused us.

 

When we turned our back, a crow landed on the picnic table, grabbed the bag of Cheetos and flew off with it. However, instead of picking it up from the open end, it chose the end farthest from us, the bottom of the bag and Cheetos were raining down and the gulls were having a great time with that.

 

Another day in the Everglades. I was sitting at Mrazek pond watching the herons, spoonbills, egrets and others feeding on some newly hatched minnows. I had eaten and apple and tucked the core under my thigh while sitting cross-legged on my blanket. I intended to take the core back with me and dispose of it properly.

 

A crow casually walked up, looked at the apple core, looked at me in the eye and looked at the core again. In a low voice I said something like "I bet you'd like that apple core."

 

After a few more seconds, the crow calmly walked to me, took the apple core from under my leg, took a couple of steps back, and flew away with it.

 

The crow showed no fear as he sized me up, and I suppose figured I wasn't dangerous.

 

This time of year, where I live, we get a lot of fish crows. They don't look any different from regular crows, but their call is different.

 

Notes â«

Bob "Notes" Norton

Owner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com

Style and Fake disks for Band-in-a-Box

The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com >^. .^< >^. .^<

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The Blue Jays around here have a number of different calls. That alarm call is very familiar to me. It sounds like they are trying to sound like a hawk.

 

The hawk's voices, at least the ones around here, aren't as resonant and have fewer low frequency components. Still, the Jay's call is similar enough to get the point across.

 

We've had a red-shouldered hawk take birds at our bird feeder a couple of times since we moved here. Well, I guess it IS a bird feeder and the hawk IS a bird. But it's still now what we had in mind. We have plenty of trees for the small birds to dart into but every once in a great while, feathers fly.

 

When the blue jay gives the alarm cry, most of the birds head for the dense live-oak trees. I think sometimes the jay gives the call to clear the feeder for itself.

 

The painted buntings are arriving. They spend the winter here. It's amazing that such tiny birds travel so far.

 

I cut the AC to do my part to slow climate change. 40% of the electricity generated in the US goes to AC units. But I'm really enjoying living with the windows open. The air is fresh, and I feel more connected to the world.

 

Notes â«

Bob "Notes" Norton

Owner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com

Style and Fake disks for Band-in-a-Box

The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com >^. .^< >^. .^<

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We had blue jays in Fresno, it appears there are quite a few variants in appearance.

Up here in Washington we have Stellar's Jays - not my image so I'll link it. https://www.flickriver.com/photos/my_planet_by_jim/2301763021/

 

For the most part, they act and sound like the blue jays in California.

 

Notes, your crow stories were awesome!

Strays Dave, I've heard that sound many times. Your hawk theory seems good.

 

Up here in the summer we have chickadees, the baby birds are ridiculously cute.

It's not uncommon to see osprey, bald eagles and other raptors. Wild geese are common and ocean going ducks - I saw a couple of those last Saturday.

 

All sorts of smaller birds that I haven't learned to identify. I like them anyway! :)

It took a chunk of my life to get here and I am still not sure where "here" is.
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We don't get Stellar's Jays but an occasional Scrub Jay. Unfortunately rampant development and habitat destruction have made them uncommon.

 

We don't get chickadees and many of the other northern birds. But we get a lot of herons, egrets, skimmers, snipes, cranes, and other tropical water birds.

 

Ospreys are plentiful, I see them every day. Red-shouldered and red-tailed hawks.are frequently seen, and in the winter many of the northern hawks migrate through here. A pair of bald eagles nest in the wetland to the west of us, and although we don't see them often, it's a treat when we do.

 

I used to camp in the Everglades National Park a lot. I don't much anymore because thanks to Big Sugar bribing the government for the water, the wildlife is down over 90%. But when I did, I had some chicken on the grill, a red-tailed hawk swooped down, back to us, fanning that big red tail, and flew off with a big piece of chicken. That was worth the price of the chicken. Later that day I told a ranger about it, and he said he was surprised, because usually the hawk goes for steaks.

 

Mrs. Notes and I love the outdoors, we've bought field guides and learned to recognize most of the birds, mammals, reptiles, and native vegetation. Once you have a name for something, it sticks in the memory better and makes it easier to talk about it.

 

In the winter, a lot of warblers come down here in their dull, winter clothes. So I can't tell if it's a palm, pine, or other type of warbler, so they go into the warbler category.

 

There are 3 houses between a 2-mile wide, shallow lagoon and a protected wetland. I'm in the middle. We've had fox, bobcats, coyote, raccoons, opossums, armadillos, gopher tortoises, one alligator (passing through), rabbits, snakes, and so many kinds of lizards, it's like Jurassic Park in miniature.

 

Most of the lots are 50 acres or more and go from the lagoon to the wetland on a 15-mile stretch of road. In the 40s, before zoning, a guy split half his lot, put in a dog leg road and built one fishing cottage per year. Mine was built in 1950. It's small (900 sq ft) on a half acre, and right on top of an ancient dune. 32' above sea level, I call it the Florida Alps. The 'soil' is sugar sand so not much grows up here except native vegetation that has evolved to do so, so I figure, why fight it? I planted about 30 native trees, put ferns under them, and let the rest of the lot return to native. Sometimes with my help by buying plants from the Native Plant Society.

 

In addition to the natives I have some plants that people used to grow when I was a child, before automatic irrigation/sprinkler systems were popular. Jasmines, Ixoras, Citronella Grass (keeps the mosquitoes down), and a few orchids in the oak trees just for the fun of it.

 

I don't need to water or fertilize. I don't need to weed since they are mostly weeds to begin with. And the only thing I mow is the road right-of-way, about 6-feet around the house and under the solar clothes dryer (clothesline). Low maintenance and both wildlife and ecology friendly.

 

I made sure to plant flowering natives to feed the pollinators. It's nice having butterflies, hummingbirds, and bees outside my window.

 

Here's a pic of a Woodstork I took in the Everglades National Park. Huge wading birds that make a living eating fish and crustaceans.

 

1000_F_432929461_xVnk45SxIEH7cZMfajSt8TB6D2ZATSbH.jpg

 

 

Notes â«

Bob "Notes" Norton

Owner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com

Style and Fake disks for Band-in-a-Box

The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com >^. .^< >^. .^<

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Great post Notes, that hawk knew his tricks!

 

I will say that a substantial blame for the reduced wildlife populations needs to be attributed to Burmese Pythons. https://www.nps.gov/ever/learn/nature/burmese-python.htm

I did not say "all of the blame" but it's a fact that the pythons are gulping down a significant number of other critters, they find the remains of these critters inside captured pythons so that aspect is indisputable.

 

When I first read about it, I wanted to start a python skin cowboy boot factory nearby and just pay a bounty for good specimens that locals brought in. I just dreamed about it, I think others have done it. Eventually the glut of boots will take the price down. I know some cultures prize python meat as well. Tastes like chicken? :)

 

Of course, one could branch out into hatbands, purses and other fine items.

It took a chunk of my life to get here and I am still not sure where "here" is.
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Whale songs are also interesting, they have repeating patterns...it seems like they have the whale equivalent of a playlist.

 

If there's any remaining doubt that whales are smarter than humans - they spend their summers in Alaska, and winters in Hawaii. I rest my case.

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I tried all summer to draw Baltimore Orioles to my feeding area. No luck. I set up an orange nectar feeder, a fruit feeder with halved oranges, and a cup of grape jelly. No luck. After more study I found that it can take up to 4 years to draw them to a new area, made worse if you don't have a bunch of fruit trees to attract them. I don't think anyone in my subdivision has a fruit tree. People avoid them because the fallen fruit draws yellow jackets.
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I tried all summer to draw Baltimore Orioles to my feeding area. No luck. I set up an orange nectar feeder, a fruit feeder with halved oranges, and a cup of grape jelly. No luck. After more study I found that it can take up to 4 years to draw them to a new area, made worse if you don't have a bunch of fruit trees to attract them. I don't think anyone in my subdivision has a fruit tree. People avoid them because the fallen fruit draws yellow jackets.

 

Those are beautiful birds! I've only seen photos, never one in real life.

 

Yellow jackets are easy to deal with. Get a good size juice jar with a fairly small opening. You want a 64 oz or larger. Put a couple inches of water in the bottom. Use the end of your finger to smear honey or jam in a circle as far down inside the jar as you can reach. Put it outside. Yellow jackets will find it, fly inside to the the sweet stuff and they don't seem to be able to figure out how to fly back out. So they buzz around until they get tired. Once they hit the water, they are doomed. I've gotten rid of dozens upon dozens of yellow jackets that way. Birds can't get into the jar so they are safe.

It took a chunk of my life to get here and I am still not sure where "here" is.
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The pythons have definitely reduced the wildlife in the Everglades, but the diminishing bird population came well before the python problem. The pythons prefer small mammals.

 

The Everglades is a river of grass, 50 miles wide and an inch or two deep. Big Sugar is hogging all the water that is supposed to be flowing south of the big lake in the middle of the state (Okechobbee) and also polluting it. They are farming where the water is supposed to be drifting south, and pumping the polluted water via canals and natural rivers to Fort Pierce on the East coast, and Fort Myers on the west coast. This has resulted in Red Tides and toxic algae blooms.

 

The problem is the Sugar lobby contributes zillions of dollars to the campaigns of the elected lawmakers, so even though the voters in referendums want something done, the lawmakers refuse to do much of anything that works. The state is so gerrymandered that even though the popular vote means these people should have been voted out of office, they are still there. The losers of the vote are the winners of the offices.

 

Their latest plan is to build a huge cesspool (they call it a reservoir) to clean up the pollution by Big Sugar, built with taxpayer dollars, and maintained with taxpayers with zero expense paid by Big Sugar who is doing the polluting.

 

You would think that is a sweet deal for Big Sugar, but they don't want to give up the land for the cesspool. It's more profitable to grow on that land and just pollute. Big Sugar gets $4 Billion per year of our tax money for price supports. We the taxpayers buy enough of that sugar they are growing with our tax dollars just to keep it out of the grocery stores so that US consumers pay some of the highest sugar prices in the world. Regulating supply and demand is not free-market economics.

 

I've been going to the Everglades National Park since the 1960s when we went on a school field trip. I'd guess Mrazak pond in the glades is about 40 acres. When the "mosquito fish" hatch, there used to be thousands of birds wading in the water to catch the fish. And I mean uncountable thousands, herons, egrets, spoonbills, woodstorks, stilts, ducks, ibis, and more. So many birds that there were more feathers in view than water. You cold smell the birds, and the cacophony of bird calls was loud and riotous. It was loud, dissonant, interesting, and wonderful. I haven't seen more than a dozen birds in that pond for decades. I miss the bird stink and the bird calls.

 

We humans are not being very good stewards of the Earth.

 

But out my window today we have the local mockingbird, flying from tree to tree singing his song to impress the lady birds, the blue jays are shouting their repertoire of varied calls, the doves are cooing softly in the background, the cardinals are doing their staccato chirps, the wrens are shouting, and the woodpeckers are laughing. I've made my half acre into a bird sanctuary. The windows are open and it seems like they are singing for us.

 

Insights and incites by Notes â«

Bob "Notes" Norton

Owner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com

Style and Fake disks for Band-in-a-Box

The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com >^. .^< >^. .^<

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Thanks Notes for the concise summary of the situation. I don't have any sugar in the house, don't buy it or use it intentionally.

It is in products that I purchase, no two ways around it. But I try to minimize sugar in my life and most of my sweets are fruits (which is certainly another "interesting" topic.)

 

Up here, such battles have more to do with water than land. Quite a few twists and turns there, the bottom line is that our wild salmon are diminishing. Warming trends are certainly part of that.

 

Food chain disruptions in Nature, not pretty to watch. Our orca pods are starving, the annual migration of bald eagles to feast on salmon carcasses in the Nooksack river post egg laying is endangered (yes, our noble national bird is a gut-eating buzzard! :) ).

 

In Nature, when one thing changes, everything changes.

It took a chunk of my life to get here and I am still not sure where "here" is.
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I don't use sugar at all. I lost 60 pounds on the keto diet (back when it was called Atkins), stayed on the diet, and have kept the weight off for at least 20 years. Both my parents died too soon due to obesity related diseases, I saw that as a possible future for me, tried a few different diets, and this is the one that worked.

 

I don't suppose one diet works for everybody, but this one did it for me. I was on my way to 300 pounds like the rest of my family, but now my BMI says I'm normal. It would take a few gained pounds for me to get to 'overweight', but I don't plan on that as a goal.

 

Winter in Florid is the dry season. From around the end of November to mid-May is when Mrs. Notes and I go out to commune with Nature. I hope to enjoy being away from the noise of lawn mowers, leaf blowers, and car motors, and listen to the sounds of nature, observe some wildlife, take a few pictures, have a picnic, and enjoy all that mother nature provides for us.

 

Notes â«

Bob "Notes" Norton

Owner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com

Style and Fake disks for Band-in-a-Box

The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com >^. .^< >^. .^<

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Someone mentioned crows. my 2 birdfeeders and birdbath are viewable from my living room piano. So I see a lot of bird action on the feeders. Probably just twice, I've watched a small flock of crows come down. They take charge of the feeders and bath - they make me think of motorcycle gang toughs. They will lunge at any non-crows, telling them to get out. I don't know if they were migrating or what, but they stayed maybe 15 minutes or so.

 

Someone I know once livestreamed a long rat snake scaling up an oak tree. There was cacophony of various species , both birds and squirrels. From the Blue Jay YT above , maybe they were also "mobbing" the snake. I don't know what the conclusion of the snake tree climb was.

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Someone mentioned crows. my 2 birdfeeders and birdbath are viewable from my living room piano. So I see a lot of bird action on the feeders. Probably just twice, I've watched a small flock of crows come down. They take charge of the feeders and bath - they make me think of motorcycle gang toughs. They will lunge at any non-crows, telling them to get out. I don't know if they were migrating or what, but they stayed maybe 15 minutes or so.

 

Someone I know once livestreamed a long rat snake scaling up an oak tree. There was cacophony of various species , both birds and squirrels. From the Blue Jay YT above , maybe they were also "mobbing" the snake. I don't know what the conclusion of the snake tree climb was.

 

 

For some reason, a flock of crows is called "murder of crows."

 

There are some fun videos here regarding the crow and intelligence. Tests show they are smarter than some of my friends. :)

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=crow+intelligence+test

It took a chunk of my life to get here and I am still not sure where "here" is.
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A couple of years ago, Mrs. Notes and I spent 5 weeks in Australia in a camper van, exploring half the continent.

 

The Aussies have a better method. Any group of anything is a mob. A mob of crows, a mob of emus, a mob of whales, a mob of tourists, a mob of kangaroos, a mob of emus, a mob of whatever. It makes for scores of names they don't have to memorize. If it's a group, and it's alive, it's a mob.

 

Regarding crow intelligence. For some people I know it would be an honor to call them 'bird brain'. :D

 

Notes â«

Bob "Notes" Norton

Owner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com

Style and Fake disks for Band-in-a-Box

The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com >^. .^< >^. .^<

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