Autumn Leaves

Today was absolutely beautiful. I went walking in a friend's woods today. Earlier this spring it had been loaded with indigo buntings, common yellow throats, rose-breasted grosbeaks and even a blue winged warblers. Today the woods were practically silent. I was kind of sad to think of these birds long gone until next May and then I heard the wind rustle the leaves and the resident chickadees began chattering. I wondered too if resident birds are glad when the warblers, buntings and grosbeaks leave since all they do is come up, sing their songs very loudly, mate like crazy and then raise kids and leave. I wonder if this is the bird version of Florida spring break?

I came a across a large flock of bluebirds warbling to each other and was surrounded by their worrisome churry call.

I was getting lots of writing done at my friend's cabin today. I was distracted momentarily by a young male cardinal. His bill was still slightly black, but the rest of him was mostly red--well on his way to manhood. He was skulking about in the brush, searching for food and practicing his song to himself. Even though he was within six feet of me, I could barely hear his song. The song sort of sounded like a cardinal, but not quite, he was most definitely practicing. I gave my own version of the cardinal "wha cheer" call and he immediately stopped what he was doing, erected his crest and chipped his disapproval (or embarrassment at being caught). Here's the young cardinal checking for the source of the song superior to his own--oh the humilliation if he learned the truth: he was being out whistled by a human.

I also heard a song sparrow and white-throated sparrow practicing calls.