[Tweeters] Reflections of the East in the West

Joshua Glant josh.n.glant at gmail.com
Tue Jun 2 07:16:31 PDT 2015

Hello Tweets,

After my post last night, I was reminded of a certain train of thought that I had gotten a few nights ago after listening to a grosbeak singing. And that was that some Western birds can sound a lot like Eastern ones!

I'm not talking just about Black-capped Chickadees, Yellow Warblers and other cross-continental species that may recall the East for some (not for me personally, but probably people from Virginia or even Kansas, for example). No, I'm referring to the songs that Western birds sometimes sing!

In my yard, I have at least a pair of Black-headed Grosbeaks in my yard, much to my delight. When the male sings, it is sometimes quite clear that he is a close cousin of Northern Cardinals: between bouts of Robin-like caroling, he will lapse into a few phrases of "whoop-whoop-whoop", just like a cardinal would!

And that's not the only bird whose voice echoes the opposite coast. There's a distinct flicker call you may have heard that sounds almost exactly like a Red-bellied Woodpecker! When I hear that call (accompanied by the grosbeak or alone), I look out on the bigleaf maples in my yard and can easily imagine that I've been transported to Pennsylvania!

Of course, hearing the Olive-sided Flycatcher transports me back to Mt. Rainier, and then home again.

Always listening (hey, isn't that someone else's line?), Joshua Glant

Mercer Island, WA

Josh.n.glant at gmail.com

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