Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Sounds of the Red-winged Blackbird

Stokes field guide to bird songsA homesick New Mexican who's endured one too many Michigan winters is happy to report that Spring is finally in the air up north. In addition to being able to go for a stroll without worrying about frostbitten toes, she's enjoying a sound that is all too rare in winter: bird songs. While I've also noticed the increase of bird calls as we've had our own early spring, I haven't been as observant as she in distinguishing between one bird and another.

To her, the song of the red-winged blackbird is the herald of spring. Fortunately, my friend sent on a great website so we can hear what she's hearing 1,500 miles away. In order to find out which birds we might be hearing in the Santa Fe area, there's the New Mexico Birds site as well as several books on identification.

Unfortunately, even with audio clips and full-color photos, some of us are just plain bad at identification, but still relish the music of early spring. If anyone has some hints about what to look or listen for, please let us know!

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