“This post is part of SoCS:” https://alldumbpeas.wordpress.com/2020/02/21/socs-animal-sounds-2-22-20/
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.”