April 21, 2014

Name That Tune

It's still early spring in the Rockies, but the first birds are starting to show up, so we are clearing out the cobwebs in the parts of our brains dedicated to identifying bird songs.

Today we heard the first evidence that one of our favourite "regulars" is back in town.  If you've been to the Rockies between late April and mid-July, you've probably heard this sound:

Although there are a lot of bird songs out there in the park, most often they go unnoticed.  However, in our time here, we've observed that lots of people are curious about this one.  They'll say, "Who's blowing that whistle?" or "What the heck is that, anyway?"

Male varied thrush singing his heart out

The answer is the varied thrush, which is a relative of the everyday backyard bird the American robin. It's an absolute gem of a bird, with exotic orange and black patterns.

What's singing outside your bedroom window today?