We’re hearing lots of old familiar sounds these days, more signs of Spring. This Song Sparrow is one of the earliest singers and also one of my favourites. He has a beautiful song, with several bright notes followed by a sequence of warbles and trills . Listen to this recording – you may recognize it as one you’ve been hearing recently.
In nearby Sargeant Bay, the red-wing Blackbirds have been singing for a couple of months. It’s the males who sing in the birding world, to both announce territory and attract their mate. The blackbird not only has a distinctive song but also flashes its brightly coloured shoulder markings while issuing its territorial call. Red-wing Blackbirds can be found in marshy areas, often perched upon the furry seed heads of long cattails.
The woodpecker family doesn’t sing but that doesn’t stop the males from drawing attention to themselves as they seek their mating partner. Instead they use their beaks to drum on trees and snags in the early Spring to announce their presence.
The most obvious is the drumming of the Northern Flicker with its impressive red slash across its cheeks. This common species inhabits our gardens at Coracle Cove and has discovered that drumming on chimneys and metal flashing produces a louder sound.
While homeowners ofter worry that these birds are drilling into the wood of their houses, this isn’t the case, but rather an ageless courting ritual that does no damage. One way to get a closer view of these colourful and interesting birds is to hang a feeder filled with a suet mixture, as we’ve done here. Be sure to have your camera ready.
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