Nearly two weeks ago, I posted a sound recording of Brown Thrasher singing, mentioning that I hoped to eventually get some cinematic footage as well. Now I have good news: on Sunday morning (yesterday), I was able to do just that!
Just as I was ending my morning’s nature immersion at Finger Lakes National Forest, a thrasher began singing from a patch of shrubs next to my parked car. I grabbed my video gear and scurried in his direction. But before I could locate him, he flew across a big field to a tall tree where he sang just long enough for me to make my way to him and aim my camera in his direction. Then, just as I pressed the record button, he flew back to the road, with me in hot pursuit. Finally, and to my considerable relief, he settled in the top of a hickory tree and sang his heart out for nearly ten minutes. He completely ignored my approach, apparently unperturbed by me toting a big lens and tripod.
There was a problem, however … he was obscured by the thick tangle of limbs. So I carefully worked my way around the tree until I found a small “window” through the limbs that yielded an acceptable view. I carefully aimed my camera, brought him into focus, and pressed record, smiling with pleasure as I documented his performance.
My only complaint is that the sound track is a bit busy … there were several red-winged blackbirds nearby that just wouldn’t shut up, in spite of me scowling at them and trying to use my power of concentration to think them into silence. Oh well, they’re a treasured part of nature’s orchestra, aren’t they?
I hope to get even better footage in the weeks to come, knowing that success depends both on the birds and me. I need to find an individual who tolerates my approach and also sings from lower limbs or else smaller trees. Surely that male will find its way to me, but only if I do my part, which is: get up early and place myself in wild nature, with receptive eyes, ears, and heart. Unless I do that, nothing of much import is likely to happen.
As always, I personally invite to comment about my video and my story.
Lang, I love all of these bird songs paired with what they look like when making their calls. I had no idea how very “physical” many of these calls are- with the birds puffing up, stretching out, shaking etc to best make the perfect calls. My ear (brain) does not seem remember songs, so I never quite know what I am hearing, though I enjoy listening immensely. Your expert clear clips and audio are fabulous to help this slow learner! Also I want you to know that I often come in and find my husband hunched over his Ipad looking… Read more »
You’re so very welcome Lynn. I do hope to meet the two of you sometime soon!
Perfect window for a perfect clip. He even felt comfortable enough to use the bathroom while you were shooting video. Thanks for your sacrifice.
Great visual/sound of brown thrasher. We have them in Georgia but didn’t have them in CT. Pam
Pam: Yes, they’re quite abundant in the southern states. Here in upstate New York, I have the impression that their numbers are on the increase. I used to have trouble finding them, but now it’s much easier.
Fantastic footage, Lang. I don’t believe I’ve ever heard or seen a thrasher, so it was a thrill to train my ear on what one sounds like. Thanks for all you do!
Eliza: You’re welcome!
So loud and beautiful song. Even here In Finland I can hear It. Happy
Hi there Leif!
Absolutely delightful – such a complex song.
I enjoy your determination during this adventure. I like the redwings, but understand that is not the pure soundscape you want.
Alice: I guess the redwings aren’t so bad after all … nobody seems to mind them.
Great thrasher show,,,Muchas gracias, Lang. This winter in Mexico, we had a curved bill thrasher in the big mesquite tree by our house…he sang to me often, but never made me chuckle as much as your delightful thrasher does.
I love those Curve-billeds, and Long-billeds too. Wish I could head down your way right now for a sampling.
Thanks for your patience in tracking down this guy. It was worth the wait for me, and I hope for you. Very cheerful. I can’t wait to download the soundtrack.
i like his bright yellow eye. Don’t you wonder how characteristics like singing every phrase twice evolve? I guess the advantage of species recognition.
Ruth: I think biologists can argue forever about the adaptability of this or that singing behavior, yet never know exactly why. My guess, though, is the same as yours. Evolution of unique patterns to aid in species recognition.
i love these guys–they have so much personality–always make me laugh. i do’nt think the blackbirds detract at all-are a nice complement.
had a lot of bulldozer noise today as they build on farm near me–am looking forward to getting that new tranquil CD to listen to instead of the noise 🙂
Billie: I should be launching my new store design later this week. After that, I can concentrate on new “tranquil” titles to add to my offerings.
What a great video! A great family of birds. I recently figured out that the great singer next to us in Arizona was a Curve-Billed Thrasher.
The Curve-billed is a wonderful bird, very elegant, and a nice song to boot. I can’t wait to videotape one singing.
I love the music. I am setting on my porch playing this. Maybe other will join in.
Fantastic! What a repertoire! Sounds like quite the work out between lugging gear back and forth and chasing the birds. Just amazing the footage and sound tracks you get. Love the blackbirds in there, too!
I’m not wild about the blackbirds, but it’s good to hear someone fully appreciates them.
Lang eres fantástico,mira un vídeo que puse en facebook,titulado jean michel jarré,es un pinzón vulgar.
Senén: Thanks for your Facebook post. I’ve never heard a chaffinch sing. Maybe someday I’ll make it over your way (Spain?) and experience it myself.
I’m with Rose! This is so relaxing and utmost beautiful! You are a gift to us all! Thank you…
glad you like it!
Laughing now. When I read the post name, I thought… thrasher cinema? Weird, like thrash metal music? I thought you were making a joke about how a bird was thrashing it’s song, as in shredding the song, as in doing it loud and wildly. Duh.. not a bird person, didn’t know thrasher was the name. I know you wanted pics on our profiles but I don’t want to take the time at the moment to sign up for something. I will do it another time. Here I am.
Feeling silly. Guess I did the profile already. But perhaps you would not recognize me. 🙂
Are you, or rather were you, a “naturist”?
Hi there Lauren … I see that you already have an avatar, but it’s a photo of a much younger person. Which one might you be?
I can’t begin to tell you how very relaxing this is for me. All my stress seems to melt away whenever you send me a video of the fascinating birds. Thank you Lang for all the JOY that you bring 🙂
You’re welcome Rose Ann!