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Birds of the Briar Patch

How can they resist shelter and tasty berries?
© Bob Kothenbeutel View Large

Uncle Remus told us how Br’er Rabbit fooled Br’er Fox by pleading, “Pleeeeze don’t throw me in that briar patch.” Many birds, like this Song Sparrow, thrive in dense, thorny blackberry thickets. Other birds that make these thorny thickets home include California Quails, wrens, and many kinds of wintering sparrows. Lucky birds, they’ll have no competition from leaf-eating Br’er Rabbit, although chipmunks also love a good briar patch and a good blackberry!

Full Transcript

Transcript: 

BirdNote®

BIRDS OF THE BRIAR PATCH

Written by Dennis Paulson

This is BirdNote!

[Song Sparrow song]

Uncle Remus told us how Br’er Rabbit fooled Br’er Fox by pleading, “Pleeeeze don’t throw me in that briar patch.” Many birds, like this Song Sparrow, also thrive in dense, thorny blackberry thickets.

[Song Sparrow song followed by alarm call]

For small birds, blackberry thickets provide shelter from larger predators unable to penetrate the thorns. In addition, birds living in briar patches enjoy the tasty fruits when late summer rolls around. Lucky birds, they’ll have no competition from leaf-eating Br’er Rabbit, although chipmunks also love a good briar patch and a good blackberry.

Other birds that make these thorny thickets home include California Quails [California Quail “song”] and wrens [House Wren chatter] as well as many kinds of wintering sparrows [Song Sparrow alarm call]. 

Himalayan blackberry was introduced into North America. Some consider it one of our most noxious invasive species. But birds and beekeepers love it. And in some urban settings, where little natural habitat remains, it provides such good bird habitat that there is justification in letting it persist. [California Quail “song”]

Today’s show brought to you by the Bobolink Foundation. For BirdNote, I’m Michael Stein. Can't always hear BirdNote but don't want to miss it? Sign up to have the shows sent to you every week. That’s birdnote.org.

###

Bird sounds provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Song of Song Sparrow [16707] recorded by A.A. Allen; “song” of California Quail [2681] by D.G. Allen; chattering song of House Wren [118890] by G.A. Keller; alarm call [44841] of Song Sparrrow recorded by G.A.Keller.  

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 August 2013 Narrator: Michael St

ID# bramble-01-2013-08-16 bramble-01    

For an interesting story on the Himalayan blackberry, go to http://www.scn.org/cedar_butte/cb-himal.html.

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