Saturday, April 07, 2012

Skid Steer Swallow

Or, mayhap Mike the Mechanical Mockingbird. Our skid steer know that noise big machines make when they back up? Yeah, that, only it indicates a problem with something about it, not a reverse psychology.

Anyhow, the boss was working with it the other day and it was doing that beeping thing it does, while Alan was working on something else. Suddenly from behind him came another beeping skid steer.

He thought he was going crazy for a minute. Then the mockingbird flew out nearby. We had a good laugh over it later.

What a bird!

I listened to him last night after chores and I darned near never went in for dinner. I don't know if it is the same young bird that was so awful a couple of weeks ago, but I suspect that it is.

However, now he is amazing now. Talk about perfect pitch. If I wasn't actually watching him, perched up there in the wild rose bush, I would never take a second thought...definitely a blue jay. Then a phoebe. Robin. Killdeer.
Tufted titmouse, pee-oo, pee-oo. And on and on. Listening to him sing was a chance to brush up on my local bird call identification.....

I suppose I might have caught on when he threw a woodpecker drumming right in between two blue jay shrieks, but this year's mocker is the best mimic I have ever heard. Not a false note anywhere.

Can't wait for more migrants to move in and start singing...and if he gives another concert like he did last night I will try to record it with the video feature on the camera so you can hear him!

Then this morning an eastern phoebe was calling so close to the house that I could hear every raspy undertone in his call. Almost sounded like a different bird. I peered out all the windows trying to see where he might be perched....looking mostly across the driveway...when I spotted him right next to the big window just inches away. He was sitting at the very tip of the sumac I leave there so I can photograph birds, every feather on end, and dripping with dew, while he screamed out his first song of they day. He looked like a grumpy guy who had just climbed out of the shower and hadn't had his coffee yet.


Cathy said...

Dang. I wish you could Youtube that mockingbird and title it with a catchy phrase . . you'd get a zilion hits.

He sounds like a birdy prodigy. You are so lucky. . . and a Phoebe up close. Wow.

Linda said...

The closest we come to have a Mocking Bird is the Thrasher....he's not back yet. I heard once of a Mocking bird perfecting someones alarm THAT would be aggravating;)

Terry and Linda said...

I wish we have Mockingbirds here. Please record I would love to hear his delightful songs!


Caroline said...

When is he going to start whistling for the dogs??

Jeffro said...

I've always liked mockingbirds, but I never really appreciated all the other birds until I started reading you. Now, I listen every time I step out just to hear the "talk."

How in the wild wild world of sports did I miss all that before? Just ignorant, I guess.

Jinglebob said...

Cool, never heard one before, tho' I have heard of them...

threecollie said...

Cathy, I hope to get the opportunity. Last night he wasn't around alas

Linda, our thrashers haven't come back yet either. We didn't used to have mockers either...they have come north in the past thirty years. I love them!

Linda, I hope he will come back and give me another show. He was absent last night, sadly.

Caroline, omg, I could just hear it.. lol We used to go to horse quiz bowl practice at the home of some folks who had an African grey parrot. He was always ordering their dogs around with hilarious results!

Jeffro, that is kinda the coolest thing anyone has said to me in a long while. Really. I would love to know what what singing in your neck of the woods and in the amazing places you visit! I love hearing the birds here, but they are the same year after year

JB, I really, really like having them around and this one is a virtuoso among them. lol

Woodswalker said...


Jeffro said...

Oh, where to begin? We have our state bird - the meadowlark, the aforementioned mockingbirds, quail (bob white?? is their call),cranes, mourning doves, burrowing owls, brownish gray hawks, some sort of fairly large tufted owl, pheasant, several varieties of duck,geese, crow, bluejays, chickadees, several varieties of blackbirds (some with white or yellow trim, got no idea what they really are), killdeer (always out in the feedlots picking out bugs), robins, tons of barn swallows, the occasional heron or gull, and lots of fat looking little nondescript brown birds - they really look puffed up when it's cold out - sparrows?

I know I just scratched the surface. I can usually ID the birds I've listed - some you don't find around the house, some you don't find out on the prairie.

threecollie said...

Ww, thanks!

Jeffro, thank you sir! I miss bob whites. We used to have them around when I was a kid and we first moved to this valley. It was so wonderful hearing them call out behind our place and whistling to them to try to get them to answer. Don't know where they went or the barn owls either. They used to roost in every barn around here. Now I haven't seen a barn owl in forty years and the last bob white I saw was a good fifteen. thanks for sharing your list.

threecollie said...

PS, maybe someday we will get back to Kansas and I can see for myself. We went back in 85 but didn't do any bird watching, which was such an oversight.