Sunday, May 30, 2010
"blackbird singing in the dead of night"
I've had trouble getting a good night's sleep lately.
Yah, there's the stress related to living in a time of economic uncertainty and environmental disaster (global warming, the Gulf oil spill). And there's the bright light of a full moon.
But what's been robbing me of a good night's sleep the past couple of nights ... has feathers and a song.
With the uncharacteristic moderate temperatures and low humidity, I've been sleeping with my window open. After finishing the final pages of Chuck Logan's Minnesota mystery, Vapor Trail Friday night, I was lulled to sleep by the comforting calls of the Great Horned Owl on the edge of the cornfield behind my house. Who, who, who-whooo.
I was abruptly awakened at 2am by the loud and incessant repetition of the songs of a Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Blue Jay, oriole and kingfisher - right outside my window.
It wasn't a dream.
A mockingbird? No, their song phrases have 3 or 4 repetitions.
A Brown Thrasher? No, they usually repeat their phrases twice.
My "black bird singing in the dead of night" sang his phrases only once.
I got up, walked to the window and looked for the songster. The noise was coming from a little shrub by the propane tank in my back yard. Hmm. I'll check it out when the sun comes up.
Then I forgot about it - until I was awakened again last night.
I went to bed around 11pm. I could hear the call of the Great Horned Owl off in the distance, accompanied by a chorus of coyotes down by Misha Mokwa creek. Bark, yip, yip, howl.
I was awakened from a sound sleep by loud bird chatter at 3am. Deja vu.
I got up and went to the window. The same monotonous phrases, this time strung together with a "meoww."
Whaddya know! Mystery solved: a Gray Catbird.
Posted by hvhughes at 12:45 PM