Tuesday, June 19, 2012
When my friend Melanie and I walked the Baraboo River Walk a few weeks ago, the path took us under a bridge where scores of cliff swallows had created a neighborhood of gourd-shaped mud nests. Packed side by side on the underside of the bridge, they looked like bird condominiums. There was much activity that morning, with swallows flitting all about, in and out of their nests. My mom loved all things related to birds, bird nests and bird houses. I frequently wear a pewter pin of a swallow that had been hers. Lately, I've been interested in learning how to distinguish the lovely calls of Wisconsin birds. Not surprisingly, the Internet held the answer for me. At wisconsinbirdsounds.com, I am learning the various sounds, including that of the cliff swallow, and am having fun relating what I'm learning to the songs I hear on my daily walks. The cliff swallow's song sounds more like a short, nasally mewing, while the red-winged blackbird (likely my favorite) is more of a conversation. How fun it will be in the cold, white harshness of winter to listen to my favorite summer birds, thanks to this amazing website.