A Song for July 15

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This is not quite "Drink-your-tea," but it's close. It has the requisite click-whistle-trill of the Eastern Towhee. This bird was singing in plain sight along the entrance road to the Black Balsam parking lot, off the Blue Ridge Parkway in the Balsam Mountains of western North Carolina. It is a prime spot for Alder Flycatchers (q.v., on the eBird checklist), but it's also loaded with Eastern Towhees and Chestnut-sided Warblers. There's only one pull-off in the Alder Flycatcher zone, but there is also little traffic, so I sometimes just park in the road and record the birds that are singing. You can hear a car coming from half a mile away, so as it approaches I just run to my car and drive up to one of the pull-offs, wait for it to pass, then drive back to the Parkway and start over.

One exception to the low traffic generalization: I managed to find the one little tent site on the lower road vacant last year, and pitched my tent, feasting on Veery song at dusk. But, it was Summer Solstice. Apparently there was an observance on Black Balsam Knob--I could see and hear them up there-- and cars streamed by all night. I still had dawn all to myself, though.

This cut gets louder after five songs. I don't think the bird did anything differently. I suspect I just increased the gain on my recorder. Notice that the bird didn't change song-types; I suspect he has a few more versions in his pocket, though.

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Nathan D. Pieplow. 2017. Peterson Field Guide to Bird Sounds of Eastern North America. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Nathan D. Pieplow. 2019. Peterson Field Guide to Bird Sounds of Western North America. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Donald Kroodsma. 2005. The Singing Life of Birds. Houghton Mifflin.