Bird Calls of the Kickapoo

moon phase Week of 05/23/2010 Excellent Day For Planting Above Ground Crops

Wet from the morning dew, the tall green grass can't hide a rooster pheasant—his beautiful bright colors jump out at the viewer. Wild Geranium Wild Geranium No matter where the pheasant is, there's no hiding this fancy show-off. The lush grass doesn't hide the pretty blue wild geraniums. In fact, if anything, the color green complements many other natural colors.

The green leaves would have hidden a silky nest of tent caterpillars but the fuzzy little worms have eaten all the leaves near their nest. Partial to fruit trees, the tent caterpillars may eat every leaf on the tree in the early summer. The good thing is that it probably won't harm the tree and it will leaf out again before autumn. Trillium Trillium The tent caterpillars have few enemies and most birds won't eat fuzzy caterpillars. The exception is the Black-billed and Yellow-billed cuckoos who don't mind eating fuzzy worms.

One of my favorite spring flowers is one of the most obvious because it clashes so with the green surroundings. The large, white, three-petaled blossoms of the trilliums make them one of the prettiest flowers of Spring. There are special places in central Wisconsin where the trilliums blanket the ground for acres in the woods. The landscape here won't be this white again until the snow comes in the winter.

Phlox Phlox It's good to hear the songs of the Gray catbird in the yard again. He rambles on and on with an endless variety of different sounds. The single-phrase calls often mimic the songs of other birds the way a mockingbird does. The Brown thrasher also has a similar song, except he mimics each call twice. Hausman's Field Book of Eastern Birds describes the songs of these birds as follows:

Catbird: Plant-a-seed, drop it, cover-it-up, pull-it, eat-it-all, chew-it, etc. One single phrase after another.

Brown thrasher: Plant-a-seed, plant-a-seed, drop-it, drop-it, cover-it-up, cover-it-up, pull-it, pull-it, eat-it-all, eat-it-all, chew-it, chew-it, etc. Each phrase is repeated twice.

Rose-breasted Grosbeak Rose-breasted Grosbeak Eastern Mockingbird: A vast variety of tones of all sorts, sweet and clear, or sharp, nasal, rich, low, subdued, high, etc. The phrases come in groups of three or four with pauses in between.

These three birds are the entertainers of the bird world. Their diverse varieties of songs are simply just fun to listen to.

The female Rose-breasted grosbeak is about twice the size of a house sparrow and has a subtle streaked, light-brown plumage. Reminder of the great flood Reminder of the great flood They are quite a beautiful sight with a blush of soft yellow on their breasts and flanks. They have the typical thick strong beak that is possessed by all grosbeaks. I'm getting a good look at them now because soon they will be on their nests and I won't see them for a couple of weeks.

As soon as I heard an oriole singing early this morning, I ran for the oranges. The orange halves are placed where the orioles will find them. It only took ten minutes for a bright orange oriole to find the sweet juicy oranges. If you want to know if there is an oriole in the yard, just put out a couple of orange halves where they can see them. If they are there, they will come. Orioles can't seem to resist a free handout of their favorite sweet treat.

Shelf fungi Shelf fungi And now a few thoughts on the tragic oil spill in the Gulf. There is a lot of bickering over who is to blame for this unnatural catastrophe. Is there anyone who doesn't deny that each and every one of us is to blame? We create the demand for oil. We are the ones who use oil to drive our cars and heat our homes. It is us who have our fingers around the throat of Mother Nature. We are the ones who set examples for our children. It is our lifestyles that are choking the life out of the planet. It's time we face the facts and face our denials before it's too late. This may sound harsh, but it's to the point and it's what Mother Nature is telling us. In order for us to make any changes for the betterment of the earth, we must first make healthy changes in our own lives.

Naturally yours,



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peta from from Western Australia on May 27, 2010 at 07:24:10 PM
hello Dan

I do enjoy your newsletters.

Your message re the Oil spill is on the mark - where is the megaphone so all the world can hear your message.

The blame game should fall squarely back on all of us.

off to enjoy the birdcalls and beautiful sunshine on this autumn day.
take care
Fay from from Louisiana on May 27, 2010 at 04:44:47 PM
Hi, from your friend Fay in La. Thank you for the updates on robins and bluebirds. I want to especially thank you for mentioning the tragedy on the Gulf Coast. This is happening in my home state of Louisiana. We have over 400 species of birds that are at risk including future generations that won't be born, countless species of marine life and vital coastal wetlands being destroyed from this oil spill. Thank you for speaking out and I hope you will continue to follow our story in your newsletters.
Stefania Marroquin from from Richland Center, WI on May 27, 2010 at 04:20:45 PM
Hey Dan,
Haven't talked to you since I last saw you in Kickapoo. I remember when you took that photo of the rose-breasted grosbeak. That bird was really pretty. I really enjoyed taking that nature walk and watching you take some pictures with your awesome camera :) haha. Send me an e-mail.
Elaine from from Hernando, FL (Central West Coast) on May 27, 2010 at 02:22:19 PM
I so enjoyed your writing this time and do so agree about the message on the oil spill. One only has to have grandchildren to understand how they think everything is free and forever with no consequences. Sad but true.
Our county has started a large curb recycle and I would say at least 80% are doing it, that is a good sign.
I was out this morning enjoying my cooter turtle, squirrels and several kinds of birds. We have put a picnic table out in the back third of our 1 acre and we can sit quietly and watch them. We have two resident red headed woodpeckers, they are a hoot a nd talk a lot.'Peace be with youhars
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