Friends of the MCRWR

News

Bird Songs in the Mid-Columbia

by Lisa Hill, volunteer

Barn Swallows, Tammi Wolf, McNary Visitor

Spring migration has slowed to a trickle as all the breeding birds in the Mid-Columbia region are now in residence; filling the air with unique songs and noisy vocalizations.  Learning to recognize specific birdsong, or birding by ear, greatly adds to the joy of getting to know our fine feathered friends.

There are many calls of birds we know well: braying honks of CANADA GEESE, the MALLARD’S nasal quack, and the croaking squawk of the RING-NECKED PHEASANT and GREAT BLUE HERON. Apparently, the AMERICAN WHITE PELICAN makes snorts and grunts that nobody ever hears.

Scuttling along the marsh edge is the SORA with its falling, stuttering ululation, and there’s the KILLDEER and SPOTTED SANDPIPER’S trill and high-pitched piping in flight.

Birdsong Killdeer by Sue Painter
Killdeer, Sue Painter, Volunteer
Ring Necked Pheasant, Sue Painter,Volunteer

High overhead are the OSPREY’S piercing peeps and raspy shriek of the REDTAILED HAWK. Circling in the clouds with the raptors or skimming low over the water are BARN, BANK, CLIFF and NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOWS,

 squealing and squabbling as they zip and swoop like acrobats.

(Cont. on page 5)

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