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Neosho Daily News - Neosho, MO
  • RUSSELL HIVELY: Bird sounds

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  • I put on my socks and walking shoes on the front steps of our home before I go for my walk along Wildcat Boulevard. It is usually before 6 a.m. and the air is full of birds sounds. There are so many that I can seldom identify the individual songs. The birds are loud.
    As I walk along, I can pick out the sounds of individual songs. I hear the "pretty boy" sound of a cock cardinal and the screeching sound of a hawk floating in the sky.
    Down by the football field I hear the sound of killdeer as they strut around on their long, thin legs. And I hear crows.
    Of all the birds, the crows' sounds are the most fascinating. All my life I thought crows only said "caw." Not true. They make a variety of sounds. Some are grunts and guttural sounds.
    The Yahoo information said that crows make at least 20 different sounds that range from caws, coos, rattles, and clicks. Some of the sounds indicate danger. One sound is a call to rally when one crow is in difficulty. Crows also will clack their beaks to make a distinct sound.
    I do not know all the crow sounds, but do know they make different sounds when they are perched on top of a football filed light pole than when they are flying low over some leftover pizza crust.
    The mockingbird who lives up by the Don Ward Ag Building still serenades any passerby. The sounds vary every day, but are pleasant to the ear as I trudge past.
    Robins make their sounds as I walk past lawns and the athletic fields. For some reason, there seem to be more robins this year than normal. Some days they are everywhere, especially very early in the morning when it is nearly dark.
    Nighthawks still cry as I walk along Harmony Street. For some reason, I never see them any other place along the trail.
    I always thought the scissor-tailed flycatcher was a quiet bird until one day I saw one chasing a hawk. He was anything but quiet.
    Take a walk, listen for bird sounds that are all around you, watch for pedestrians, use your signal lights, and see what you notice while walking along Wildcat Boulevard.
    Russell Hively writes a weekly column for the Daily News.

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