[Tweeters] Bird Sounds in the Dark

jeff gibson gibsondesign at msn.com
Wed Apr 17 17:50:09 PDT 2013

I spent most of yesterday (4/16) at home here in north Everett and had a pretty good time.

My day got off to a good start just before 5:30 am when, going outside for a minute , I heard the distress call of a Robin from our English Laurel grove (it used to be a hedge), and despite it being dark, cold and foggy, the Robin launched right into full-fledged song. It was pretty wonderful.

About ten minutes later I came back out and the (or a) Robin was singing in the same laurel, but the song was a bit goofy. While singing at full volume, and with the familiar Robin cadence, it sounded like about a third of the notes were missing. It reminded me of having carburetor problems with my truck; some sort of turdus vocal chord combustion issue goin' on. Whatever the deal, the Robin kept on with it for awhile till I went back inside to warm up. Maybe it was a youngish Robin still learning it's notes. Or maybe an old Robin that sorta forgot it's notes. Maybe it was one of them improvisational types. Who knows.

My day also ended in the dark, and on another good note. My wife and I were out watering our dog a few blocks from home, about 10 pm. The night was clear and calm, and just as we walked down the alley to our place I heard the distinctive call of a Greater Yellowleg's overhead! There was more than one calling, and judging by the sound they were fairly high up. While I've heard plenty of Killdeer's at night, I've never heard Yellowleg's. I had seen 13 Greater Yellowleg's just a few days before out on the Snohomish River Road so I knew they were around the area. North Everett, being a highland peninsula between the Sound and the River, is a good place for flyovers- a fair part of my Yard list, to which I could now add Yellowleg's.

So, from a Robin in the dark, to Yellowlegs serenading the moon, planets and stars, it was a nice day to be home.

Jeff Gibson
Everett Wa

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