Here Come the Birds!

Shindagin Hollow © Lang Elliott

This morning was cloudy but calm, so I went to nearby Shindagin Hollow to see if there were any new arrivals (or local species) sounding off … and sure enough there were: Black-throated Green Warbler, Black-throated Blue Warbler, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Winter Wren, Ovenbird, Blue Jay … and more!

A Symphony of White-throats

White-throated Sparrow © Lang Elliott

This morning, I rose at 4:30am and headed for Finger Lakes National Forest, arriving at about 5:15am. Birds were already singing and I headed in the direction of a cardinal, intending to get a closeup sound portrait. Instead, I stumbled upon something special: a migrating flock of White-throated Sparrows, awakening to the day in a thicket at the edge of the woods …

Thrasher Cinema Success

Brown Thrasher © Lang Elliott

Just as I was ending my field work on Sunday morning, a Brown Thrasher began singing from a patch of shrubs next to the road. I spent the next twenty minutes chasing after him as he flew from perch to perch. Finally, he settled in a tall hickory tree and put on quite a vocal performance …

A Grackle and a Finch

House Finch © Lang Elliott

Several days ago, I paid a morning visit to my friend and fellow recordist Bob McGuire (we’ve done a number of trips together). Bob’s yard is full of House Finches and Common Grackles, attracted to the abundant evergreens surrounding his home. Luckily, it was a blue-sky day, so I managed to get some usable video footage of both species, with pretty decent sound …

Downy Drummings

Downy Woodpecker drumming © Lang Elliott

Nearly every day yields something valuable, but only if I get myself out there and immerse myself in the glory. I also never know what I’m going to find, even when I have a goal in mind. I have discovered that more often than not, my ultimate “catch” is not at all what I had expected. And here is a case in point …

Red-bellied Soundings

Red-bellied Woodpecker © Lang Elliott

This mornings video catch: A Red-bellied Woodpecker giving its vibrant querrr calls, along with tapping at a potential nest site. I was so lucky to get this footage, after a frustrating morning trying to locate a Ruffed Grouse drumming log, with no success …

Spring’s First Thrasher

Brown Thrasher © Lang Elliott

O frabjous day! The Brown Thrashers have arrived, nearly ten days earlier than last year. What a joyful surprise on this calm and sunny morning in upstate New York. A truly welcome sign that spring is blossoming according to plan, and that Old Man Winter has lost his grip and is quickly fading away …

Where Did Spring Go?

Eastern Phoebe on Red Osier Dogwood - © Lang Elliott

Winter has returned in spades! There’s perhaps five inches of snow on the ground and last night the temperature dropped to 10F. It feels like mid-January here in upstate New York, and it’s hard to believe that it was in the high 60s no more than a week ago. So I spent the morning in my studio, huddled in front of my computer, editing bird videos I gathered during warmer weather the week before …

Bluebird Courtship Feeding

Bluebird Courtship Feeding © Lang Elliott

Bluebirds are at it again, courting in preparation for their nesting season. I’ve been hearing them sing for about two weeks, so I went this morning, hoping to videotape one in full song. I was not successful, but I did manage to capture something very special… mating feeding behavior!

Mockingbird Songster

Northern Mockingbird © Lang Elliott

I rose early this morning and drove to a nearby natural area in hopes of getting some footage of a Northern Mockingbird. Luck was with me. Shortly after arriving, I found a singing male. He would sing for several minutes from a limb and then fly to a different perch. It took him about ten minutes to cover his territory, during which he would sing from maybe six or seven different locations, before returning and repeating the process again …

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