Wilson Post Blogs
Our Feathered Friends - Aug. 8
What a storm we had this past week with damaging winds tearing up trees and breaking flower pots at my next door neighbor’s house. The lightning woke me up out of a sound sleep just before 2 a.m. I kept waiting for the rain to start and then it started with a mighty wind coming out of the north. Many trees were blown down on my street and two trees were down at my neighbor across the street, at the Boyd's residence. Scary night and even more as Dotty Kim and family stopped by to see if there was anything tore up at my place. Two large limbs had fell from the hackberry tree out by the back door of my home. I thank God that there was little damage done to my property.
Storms like this one can displace some of our feathered friends which sometimes can't find shelter enough for protection. One particular species was sitting in the back tree line singing it's heart out as I was talking to Dotty. It was a Common Yellowthroat and by the sound of his singing he was plenty happy to be alive. The Common Yellow (Geothlypis trichas) don't you just love these Latin names, is a true new world Warbler which are an abundant breeder here in the United States. Their range is north to southern Canada all the way south down to central Mexico.
Back when I was first learning the calls of the birds, my mentor, the late Reverend William (Bill) Senter would take me out on a bird count and with his keen hearing, he would announce to me what was singing. I said, “Woah, I want to see the birds that are singing.” Bill slowed down his pace and worked a little slower where I could see the species and eventually learn the sounds that were being sung. Most of the sounds, we would put into phonics and some of the others were a series of squeaks, buzzes and trills which took a little more time to get down pat. My first Warbler was the Common Yellow-throat and it was very easy to remember this little tart. His song was a repeated, "Witchity-witchity witchity" sung from a prominent perch on a tall stalk of some type of weed in an overgrown patch of tall grass in a marsh like setting. The strongly accented syllables made the song even more identifiable.
Their costume consists of an olive back, wings and tail, yellow throats and chest. You will notice that the female is much duller than the male which has brighter yellow and a black face mask. If you per chance invade his territory, you can expect to get fussed at which he will keep it up till you move away. I will make my sushing sounds which will usually bring him out of the thick vegetation and bring the bird out in plain view. After a few minutes, he will no longer consider me a threat and go on about his business.
If you take a ride out into the country, slow down and take a listen for the call of the Yellow-throat when you pass a bridge next to a grassy field. Chances are you might locate one, especially in the early spring. Some of their hangouts are out Belotes Ferry Road where the tall grasses grow. Almost sounds like a poet that don't know it.
I received a nice e-mail from one of my readers, Sonja Hunter, who sent me a couple of pictures. Sonja doesn't have a Hummer feeder yet, but right now she has Hummingbirds eating from her Butterfly Bush. Also the Goldfinch in her yard are not attracted to a feeder, but they enjoy munching on the seeds of her coneflower and coreopsis (Sunfire) plant. I am passing along the picture of her Goldfinch for your enjoyment. Thanks, Sonja.
Since fire destroyed the Sellars Funeral Home here in Lebanon, I will not be passing away any time soon until it is rebuilt, and please keep their family in your prayers.