Wednesday, February 13, 2008
I started at 11:51 at FRWMA. Temps were about 50 F. I followed an American kestrel about for awhile and stumbled upon some raptor killed remains of a small bird. See photo. Note: All black primaries and secondaries with more (unseen in photos) iridescence on coverts. Later I found larger remains of a black bird, more likely a crow. Followed a large flock of EAME, as well. Interesting calls. The standard machine-gun call used in common alarm was noted, but single syllable, and long distance flight call was heard, too. They seem to have a sentry posted as geese do. "Striking yellow breast and belly feathers blaze in the afternoon light Like large shiny shields with crests of the "V" In a sea of green glimpses of the crawling flock show brown and streaked foragers Readying for migration I must rest them Then try to get close again." Their song carries in the wind, making them easy to follow by ear. Even on the windiest of days. That helps the birder. Where there are grasslands, there are winds. I assume that the Eastern Meadowlarks (Sturnella magna) has the same vocal adaptations as the grassland bird that follows it according to the 7th addition (1998) of the AOU's checklist of NA birds and the 42nd supplement (2000). In that its song is particularly well-suited to carry in winds. Eastern males have a repertoire of (50-100) songs (Sibley 200).