Seeing by Ear!

Look what I found a few days ago. It’s sort of coming apart. Does anyone know what kind of nest it might be?

Spider webs and green and white lichen on the outside … moss and cottonwood seed on the inside … hummingbird nest? – or is it too big? Hmm … let’s get a picture of it Amanda – maybe someone can positive ID it for us later.

A lot of bird watching is done by ear. If you try to learn just one call or song each time we are out, before you know it you will be able to “see” more birds with your ears than your eyes! Listen closely and then repeat after me … chip … chip … chip

What kind of bird do you think that is?

It’s one of the calls of a white crowned sparrow.

It’s 7:15 pm right now.

What’s the temperature?

22 degrees

Okay, let’s head down the trail, along Stoney Creek, to the end of North Road. We will aim to be back by 8:30 or so. Keep your eyes and ears open!

A half hour later …

Do you hear that? To the right. Listen.

Chip … chip … chip …

Slowly a look of recognition spreads across five faces and then a big smile. Mission accomplished. A white crowned sparrow identified by sound!

By the way, that was a hummingbird nest Amanda found. And that neat plant – the one along the trail with the round balls and all those spiky hooks. It’s a common burdock. According to Plants of Coastal British Columbia, those hooks were the inspiration for Velcro!

PS: On this sunny evening of Aug. 9Th, 2014 we identified 8 bird species, saw 1 bat, 1 squirrel and one tan and black cat hunting song birds – oh no!

If you would like to join us on our next bird walk – check out our calendar at  http://www.scec.ca/ and remember keep those ears open!

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Hummingbird nest, group, and common burdock photo by Randy Snyder