In my last blog, “More Bird Notes,” I referred to the Common Yellowthroat, a New World wood warbler, as the “raccoon warbler.” I also referred to the Brown Thrasher as the “chirpa chirpa bird.”
I received a few questions about the name, “raccoon warbler,” since I’d presented a photo of a younger female that bore no resemblance to the furry mammal. Here’s a photo of an adult male. This bird bears a clear resemblance to said mammal. It bears a resemblance to the Lone Ranger, too.
For fun, here’s a bird I captured just moments later. It was a great early April morning.
The Brown Thrasher. Here’s a recording of one singing. Is there any wonder why the species has been given the above nickname by some—or why it’s often referred to as “loquacious”? Listen carefully and you’ll actually hear the bird sing something like “chirpa chirpa” 5 seconds in. You’ll also hear a dog, some random talk, a revving engine, and a train whistle.
I like the thrasher recording because you can easily hear the bird’s trademark paired phrases. I also like it because the bird is singing amid human activity. You’ll recall these words from my last blog: “Birds that are adaptable like these and can live around humans usually have far better chances of succeeding and growing their numbers.” One of the birds I was referring to was the Brown Thrasher. The species seems to have little trouble coexisting with us. Speaking of coexisting, the Center for Conservation Biology just shared a fascinating report about night herons colonizing a park near Baltimore’s busy waterfront. Those birds have no trouble living around us either.
Here’s a photo of a close relative of the species just referenced. This bird is settled in, in a Chesapeake, VA city park.
The Canada Goose
Another species that also has no trouble living around us is the Canada Goose. It’s hard to believe that one of its subspecies, the Giant Canada Goose, almost became extinct in the 1900s.
Here’s a recent goose photo. I captured the bird—which could be the above subspecies—as it stood and preened on a dead-end road at heavily industrialized Money Point in Chesapeake. That’s where I also took the top 2 bird photos. Even though the eye and catchlight aren’t visible, I like the bird’s pose and the uniform background. It’s as if the bird were inside a jumbo light tent. The photo also highlights the bird’s roof shingle-like feathers and its “wellies,” or feet. I call the feet “wellies” because they remind me of Wellington boots.
Here’s a close-up.
It almost looks as if the big bird could slip the boots right off.
On another note—aren’t those feet wonderfully adapted for swimming (if not too serviceable for walking around)?
Here’s another animal I captured on that same dead-end road. I parked myself in the middle as I took its photo. It was remarkably cooperative. Fortunately for us both, there was no traffic.
Who knew that shooting these animals on that roadway would work out so well—or that a road surface could serve as an ideal setting?
And This Just In
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Quip, Question, Quote
I had this thought after I’d written about the Brown Thrasher singing amid human activity: “Now if all birds sang amid human activity; and if all human activity were benign.”
“Urban wildlife helps us maintain our connection with nature; people need to understand that wildlife is here to stay and humans need to find a way to coexist.” (www.sugarlandtx.gov)