Thursday, February 11, 2016

Hylocichla mustelina The suburban ornithoscopist, no. 2: wood thrush

The suburban ornithoscopist
Under the title given above I’ll be posting some of the interesting, brief natural history videos Wayne has made. Most of these will be videos of birds. These posts will be numbered and marked “video: W. Crist;  text: J. McKenney”.
Hylocicla mustelina The suburban ornithoscopist, No. 2 wood thrush
Video No. 2 was made on May 23, 2015 in Waverly-Schuylkill Park about two blocks from my home. 
The song of this bird, which sometimes reproduces to an uncanny degree of accuracy the timbre of a flute, is one of the most easily recognized and highly esteemed songs of any native bird.

Each year recently Wayne and I have tried to pay attention to the last date on which we have heard a wood thrush. This neighborhood is thick with wood thrushes; I sleep with my windows open, and during the season hear them daily until the first week of August. This year, Wayne heard one on August 6: that’s the latest date we have records of their singing here. What’s the significance of that? Does it mean that all of the wood thrushes have left the area for the year? Does it mean they are out there but not singing? Does it mean that the ones we hear in late July are migrants from farther north, and that our local wood thrushes left before that? I don’t know the answers to any of these questions.  But I do know that once they quiet down for the year,  it will be another eight months before we hear them again. 

The suburban ornithoscopist, No. 1 is here:

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