[Tweeters] A couple of newly fledged bird calls

Lonnie Somer mombiwheeler at gmail.com
Sat Jul 17 11:35:04 PDT 2021

Hi Tweeters,

I live close enough to Puget Sound to have a small number of Caspian Terns
fly near my house on a daily basis this time of the year. If I have the
deck door open or am working in my yard, I can hear their rasping calls
when they're in the area. The last few days I've been hearing a much
higher pitched call accompanying them. When I checked it out with my
binoculars, I saw that it was being made by 1 of the terns, presumably a
youngster whose "voice" hasn't changed yet. Very distinctive.

Along those lines, I hiked on the Sheep Lake/Sourdough Gap Trail yesterday
with my wife (the trailhead is located just beyond Chinook Pass on the
Yakima County side). Clark's Nutcrackers were fairly common after the 1st
mile. I paused along the trail not far from the gap to watch one gobbling
pine nuts (nice to see some Whitebark Pines, which have really declined, of
various ages along the trail) and giving its distinctive call when it was
suddenly answered by a much higher pitched call that I had never heard
before. It came from a recently fledged juvenile that still had some downy
feathers. Very cute. I guess that both of these species go through a
voice change like a prepubescent boy.

BTW, the trail was relatively birdy, including a few singing Lincoln's
Sparrows, which I don't get to hear very often.

Good birding,

Lonnie Somer
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