Creature Feature

Creature Feature – Music to Our Ears

Posted by  //  March 9, 2021  //  Articles, Creature Feature

March is finally here, and soon we welcome spring’s official arrival.  There are other special arrivals to celebrate this month including the first sojourning red-winged blackbirds, common grackles, cowbirds and song sparrows.  They are among the earliest bird species to return north for the breeding season.  

Red-winged blackbirds, common grackles and cowbirds frequently travel together in large, hungry flocks that descend en masse upon our bird feeders or to rest in treetops where they produce a cacophony of ear-busting whistles, trills, croaks, squeaks and other excited avian chatter.  While the raucous concert lacks pleasant melodics, it is, nevertheless, most welcome to winter-weary ears! 

In contrast, the little rusty-brown and white song sparrow sings so sweetly.  The male sparrow selects an exposed perch to set the stage; then, tipping back his head, he begins his cheerful song with a few succinct whistles followed by a bouncy trill.  Some bird guides suggest it sounds like, “Madge, Madge, Madge, put on your tea kettle-ettle-ettle;” or, “Hip, hip, hip hurrah boys, spring is here!”  Regardless of the questionable mnemonics we assign to the song sparrow’s uplifting tune, there’s one thing for certain:  it’s music to our ears.

Article & Photo by Margie Manthey

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