Photo by Corey Husic

Monday, April 4, 2011

Dawn Chorus and Maple Flowers

Each morning my dogs get me out and about for a walk, usually starting while it remains dark and ending in daylight. Being out at dawn this time of year allows me to hear early morning bird songs, the "dawn chorus." Later in the season, the chorus gets pretty complicated, but this time of year there are only a few singers, so it is a good time to try to learn bird songs if you are new to that endeavor.

The most "cheerful" voice in the chorus this morning was the American Robin. Many were singing their melodic up and down the scale song. A few were also producing their whinnying call at times. As the walk continued, I heard Red-winged Blackbirds proclaiming their territories with their raspy "conk-la-ree." The final species I heard singing at dawn this morning was a Northern Cardinal and its piercing notes. I look forward to more songs being added to the chorus as spring progresses.

Later in the day at Lehigh Gap Nature Center, on the north side of the Kittatinny Ridge along our LNE Trail (southern Carbon County), I found one Red Maple with flower buds that had burst open in the warm temperatures today.

Red maple flowers, Photo by D. Kunkle

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