Search This Blog

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Night Sounds (Blog Ninety-seven)

During the heat of the summer, and we've had a hot one here in Botetourt County, Virginia, I have taken to walking before sunrise, specifically the last hour before the sun starts to rise and I have to unlock the hen house to let the chickens into their run.  One of the enjoyable things about walking in the dark is listening to the night sounds.

For example, the 30 minutes before first light is a time when the last sounds of the night birds merge with the first ones of the diurnal ones.  Great-horned owls (shown below) are still making their haunting hoots and one morning, I heard two screech owls emitting their piercing whistles at each other.

Soon the cardinals chime in, as the redbird is an early riser if there ever was one.  Carolina wrens are often the next to make music, but the sound the male most often seems to make is the call note to his mate.  Soon she answers back with her "whirring" response.

Perhaps the most vocal bird, even with the advent of August, is the indigo bunting.  The male indigo belts out his explosion of notes as if he himself were about to explode.  How and why does he sing so loud and so often even during the heat of August?

But August is also a time when the dawn period is one of the quietest of the year.  Most birds have stopped singing now, mating and the rearing of young are both just about over.  And all too soon some species will even be starting to migrate, the barn and rough-winged swallows will be among the first to depart.  Meanwhile, I will enjoy the night sounds on my early, early ramblings.

No comments:

Post a Comment