Willamette Valley, William L. Finley National Wildlife Refuge, Oregon
June 15, 9:09 a.m.
Sunrise at 5:27 a.m.
So many many years ago I stood at this very place recording Bewick's wrens--what memories flood over me. Now, some kind of confrontation has apparently developed between two neighboring males. The calls of two birds overlap one another at first, with the near male calling sharply plit plit plit, the other bird (his mate?) a higher, more tonal pseee . . .pseee . . . pseee. Eventually the male sings four times before flying off (30 wing beats/sec).
A curious echo appears after the third and fourth songs. The male had flown in line with a nearby building, and the song echoes back to my microphone, making it seem as if another bird sings in the background. The echo is delayed by 0.405 seconds, the time required for sound to travel about 450 feet to and from the building.
Spotted towhee, Swainson's thrush, lazuli bunting
Photo by John Van de Graaff