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A Tree Alive with Song - European Starlings

Perplexing but strangely wonderful sounds!
© Linda Tanner View Large

What an amazing noise! Whistles and trills, squeaks, rattles, and gurgles that suggest an orchestra of birds tuning up in the urban forest. You look around – not a bird in sight. The sounds waver in intensity, but with no clear pattern. Perplexing, but strangely wonderful! Suddenly, a large flock of birds emerges from the trees, startled. There must be 50 of them, rising into the air, their dark feathers tinged with iridescent purple and green. This mystery of nature is revealed . . .

Full Transcript

Transcript: 

BirdNote®

A Tree Alive with Song

Written by Bob Sundstrom

This is BirdNote.

Imagine hearing a tree alive with song!

It’s a cool, sunny day in March, and you’re walking down a path bordered by dense evergreens. Suddenly you hear this: [European Starlings hidden yet singing in a tree]. 

Whistles and trills; squeaks, rattles and gurgles – wavering in intensity but with no clear pattern – like the mingled sounds of an orchestra of birds tuning up. 

[European Starlings hidden yet singing in a tree].

You look around -- not a bird in sight. Just the rich, dark green of cedars and firs. Perplexing. But strangely wonderful. A mystery of nature perhaps, but one calling to be solved.

As the unseen orchestra continues tuning [continue Starlings] you narrow down its location to a single evergreen. It’s a tree alive with sound and song.

[European Starlings hidden yet singing in a tree]. 

Peering deep within the dense boughs, you edge nearer the varied music. Your approach surprises a squirrel foraging on the ground. The squirrel leaps into the tree, instantly startling a large flock of birds. There must be 50 of them, rising into the air, their dark feathers tinged with iridescent purple and green. [sound of flock flying out!] An orchestra of starlings rehearsing for the spring breeding season.

[European Starlings hidden yet singing in a tree] 

Thank you for listening to BirdNote! Can’t always catch the show on the radio? Well, sign up to have them sent to you every week – that’s birdnote.org. I’m Mary McCann. 

###

European Starlings singing from within a tree – recorded by C. Peterson.  Sony Feb06G4T1. 

BirdNote's theme music was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler.

Producer: John Kessler

Executive Producer: Chris Peterson

© 2013 Tune In to Nature.org  March 2013  Narrator: Mary McCann

ID#   EUST-03-2013-03-07 EUST-03 

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