Singing ‘plurri, kiwi, plurri, kiwi’

Red-wing blackbird singing its song.

You probably know more bird sounds than you think you do!

One doesn’t need to be a nature lover to hear birds. There is no need to hike miles and miles into the woods or along the beaches to encounter birds and hear their melodies. In Cannon Beach, it’s as easy as being outside or stepping behind the library or pausing as you head into the community center.

Now that spring has sprung, this renewing season of the year, it’s easy to find birds because they are singing and trying to locate each other for breeding. (Bonus for spring are the fancy feathers they are wearing!)

Have you heard the American robins singing with their plurri, kiwi, plurri, kiwi, repeated over and over? I find it hard to miss the song of the white-crowned sparrow because he sings it from the treetops and the sound can really travel! And, of course, there is the red-winged blackbird with it’s tail pumping chuck-chuck and melodious trill kon-ka reeeeee song you can hear from Pompey Marsh almost anywhere in downtown Cannon Beach.

When I took up birding as a passion, six years ago, it seemed to me the most efficient way to start identifying birds was by their unique songs. I sat at home roaming through my field ID books, listening to CDs and viewing various websites finding the most common birds in the area and what they had to say! Then I was to go into the field and apply my newfound knowledge.

Well, that was a total bust for me. I was unable to remember any of the specific songs to each bird. Luckily I have found what works for me. Hearing and seeing a bird at the same time is the way my brain stores this information. Although slower then my original “plan,” I am able to add five to 10 bird songs to my repertoire each year.

Whether I know the bird that belongs to the singing or not, I enjoy the music, one of the many soundtracks of nature and my life. I hope you will get out and enjoy the soundtrack of Cannon Beach too!

Remember that a small group of people gather for the First Sunday Cannon Beach Bird Walk. The next one will be on May 6. Join the group at 9 o’clock at the Lagoon Trail on Second Street. Bring binoculars if you have them (we often have extras if you don’t) and wear appropriate clothing. Everyone is welcome!

Susan has spent her life enjoying the great outdoors from the lakes and woods of northern Minnesota, to Mount Adams in Washington and now the Oregon coast. After spending many pleasurable hours driving her avid birder parents around, she has taken up birding as a passion. Susan resides on Neawanna Creek in Seaside where her backyard is a birder’s paradise.


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