SoCS Animal Sounds-2/22/20

“This post is part of SoCS:”


Of all the animal sounds, I enjoy bird songs the most! Most avid bird watchers come to know that recognizing bird songs is a most useful tool.
I teach the kids in my care to listen to many things. Actually, my child care mission statement includes paying attention and experiencing all our senses everyday.
A few of our favorites are Chickadees, Eastern Phoebes, Nuthatches, and Cardinals. I don’t use Audubon descriptions but, instead, make up my own clues. Chickadees are easy. “Chickadee-dee-dee” is usually the very first song that we learn.
Most birds have more than one sound, though, and Chickadees often make a long forlorn “Jean-nie” sound too.
Phoebes also say their name but usually follow it with a sharp “She did it!”. At least, that’s what it sounds like to me.
Nuthatches are harder to spot. They like the tangled woods but their vocalizations always give them away. I can’t do anything but smile when I hear them because they sound like someone who has inhaled helium and is laughing. “Oops… someone’s laughing at us. Who could that be?” is my prompt for the kids. As usual, we’re able to hunt the jokester down and find him upside down on the side of a tree.
Then there are Cardinals. Their whistle is a delight at this time of year. Usually, they just make a shrill “peep, peep” at the feeder but I’ve kept track of the mating call of the males. It’s my first warning that Spring is closing in. For my area, in Massachusetts, I’ve saved the dates when it starts. Between January 25th and February 15th, I’ve always heard them. (I believe that the winter weather keeping me indoors has caused the variable in the date of my discovery.) The last week of January would be my guess for the yearly phenomenon. It sounds like a “Fa-wap, Fa-wap” whistle followed by a “gee, gee, gee, gee”.
This leads me to one of those heartwarming day care moments that made my years worthwhile and rewarding:

As a grandmother dropped off a four year old friend of mine, she filled me in on their weekend walk. “Avery and I had a beautiful walk. As we were almost home, he shouted ‘Grandma WAIT!’. ”
She giggled a little explaining that she was alarmed by his sudden outburst until he said, “Hear that? That’s Mr. Cardinal!”
The grandma winked at me. “I knew, right away, that came from you.”

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS Feb. 22/2020


8 thoughts on “SoCS Animal Sounds-2/22/20

  1. I’ve never been able to recognize bird sounds, but your post reminded me of the time I was trying to learn using a CD. It explained the yellowhammer’s sound as either Beethoven’s 5th symphony or a child whining “mama, mama I want ice-cream!!!”. This was in Dutch so not sure I can convey what I mean well. For a long time, my father, who is really good at recognizing bird sounds even though he isn’t really a bird watcher, would whine “mama, mama I want ice-cream!!!” whenever he heard this bird. I still want to learn to recognize bird sounds.

    • There are some songs I just can’t remember, either. I’m no expert and wish I could recognize more. Birds have made such a nice connection between you and your father. ❤ They certainly helped me leave an impression on kids! Thanks for your comment.

  2. I grew up in western Mass. and now live in upstate NY, so I appreciated “hearing” these particular birds. Chickadees are my favorites. Despite being small, they are very brave, sometimes flying into a feeder when I am still there filling another one.

    • I have yet to decide whether Chickadees are brave or stupid. LOL Their bold presence is delightful either way. We spend much of our free time in New York on our own wooded land. I’d never heard katydids before camping there. They are a delightful wild sound in Aug. & Sept.!

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