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Birdsong on the Talus

Rocks and birds - a better combination than you might think!

The ringing notes of a Rock Wren’s song reverberate across a steep, rocky slope in the American West. The Rock Wren is most at home in piles of rock rubble at the foot of cliffs, a life zone known as a talus slope. These wrens find shelter, safe nesting, and a good supply of insects in the crevices among the talus. They often share the slope with birds such as Say’s Phoebe and the sweet singing Canyon Wren. Venture high enough in the western mountains, above tree level into the alpine zone, and you’ll find talus slopes interspersed with bits of low tundra – home to one of the continent’s most reclusive birds, the White-tailed Ptarmigan.

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Transcript: 

BirdNote® 

Birdsong on the Talus

Written by Bob Sundstrom

This is BirdNote.
     [Rock Wren song]
The ringing notes of a Rock Wren’s song reverberate across a steep, rocky slope in the American West. [Rock Wren song] The Rock Wren is most at home in piles of rock rubble at the foot of cliffs, a life zone known as a talus slope.
[Rock Wren song]
Each year, weathering caused by ice in the cracks of a cliff face, sends fragments of rock tumbling. [Sounds of rocks tumbling]
Rock Wrens find shelter, safe nesting, and a good supply of insects in the crevices among the talus. They often share the slope with birds such as Say’s Phoebe [Say’s Phoebe down-slurred song] and the sweet singing Canyon Wren [Canyon Wren]. When Rock and Canyon Wrens sing from the same talus, you’ll hear one of the finest duets in the West. [Rock Wren and Canyon Wren songs intermixed]
    Venture high enough in the western mountains, above tree level into the alpine zone, and you’ll find talus slopes interspersed with bits of low tundra – home to one of the continent’s most reclusive birds, the White-tailed Ptarmigan. [Male White-tailed Ptarmigan vocalization]
    You can see all these wonderful creatures on our website, birdnote.org. I’m Michael Stein, and today’s show brought to you by The Bobolink Foundation.  [Canyon Wren]
###
Sounds of the birds provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Song of the Rock Wren 71889 recorded by M. Fischer; song of Say’s Phoebe 120202 by G.A. Keller; song of Canyon Wren 105214 by G.A. Keller; call of White-tailed Ptarmigan 2506 by W. Brockleman.    
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Chris Peterson
© 2012 Tune In to Nature.org   July 2012  Narrator: Michael Stein

ID# talus-01-2012-07-11    talus-01    

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