Subscribe to BirdNote

Sign up to receive a weekly email preview of the following week's shows!

Sign Up
Support BirdNote

Help BirdNote tell more stories, reach more people, and inspire action.


You are here

Sanctuary and Bird Sound - with Patti McLead

Check in and experience the "heal country!"
© Patti McLead View Large

When Patti and Patrick McLead purchased land near the Edwards Plateau in Texas, they wanted to create a bed and breakfast that doubled as a bird sanctuary. They built cottages and created a meadow. When they put in a pond, birds were quick to respond. This Black-crested Titmouse is among the birds that benefit from the habitat at Songbird Meadows Bed and Breakfast. If you plan a visit, you might be lucky enough to see or hear Black-bellied Whistling Ducks, Northern Cardinals, Carolina Chickadees, Golden-fronted Woodpeckers, and Greater Roadrunners.

Full Transcript



Sanctuary and Bird Sound – with Patti McLead

Interview by Nancy Rumbel

Written by Chris Peterson

This is BirdNote!

[Evening sounds of a Chuck-will’s-widow]

When Patti McLead [Mc-LEED] and her husband Patrick came to buy land near the Edwards Plateau in Texas, they heard no birds singing. Still, they wanted to create a bird sanctuary and a restful B & B. Their son had been killed in Iraq, and they needed a place to come to grips with their new life…

“When we sat here under this tree in the front yard, thinkin’ about the property – there was not…ONE…BIRD…CHIRP. Not one.”  

They built cottages and created a meadow. When they put in a pond, birds and other wildlife were quick to respond.

“We’ve had the Black-bellied Whistling Duck…[Whistling Duck]…we have Western Scrub-jays [call of Western Scrub-jay], Northern Cardinals... mockingbirds…three kinds of titmice…[song of Black-crested Titmouse] …Carolina Chickadees…we have three wrens…[song of Carolina Wren]. We have Golden-fronted Woodpeckers [call of Golden-fronted Woodpecker]. We have roadrunners all the time. They’ll even come up and drink out of the birdbath, which is a hoot! [Call of Greater Roadrunner]

Today their place, Songbird Meadows, is alive with the sounds of birds. [Wing-beat and call of Black-chinned Hummingbird]

“Instead of the Hill Country, we do call it the ‘Heal Country.’ We’ve healed so much in the three years we’ve been here.” [Call of Chuck-will’s widow]

There’s more at 


Bird sounds provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Calls of Chuck-will’s Widows [105213] recorded by G.A. Keller; calls of Black-bellied Whistling Duck [58943] by P. Schwartz; call of (and ambient drawn from) Black-crested Titmouse [105593] by G.A. Keller; song of Carolina Wren [128907] by G. Vyn; call of Golden-fronted Woodpecker [103349] by M.D. Medler; call of Greater Roadrunner [8283] by A.A. Allen; and wing beat and call of Black-chinned Hummingbird [109095] by G.A. Keller

Call of Western Scrub-jay recorded by Martyn Stewart of

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

Producer: John Kessler

Executive Producer: Chris Peterson

© 2014 Tune In to    July 2016   Narrator: Mary McCann

ID#  songbirdmeadows-01-2014-07-24 songbirdmeadows-01 JK as “Texas B&B”

Sights & Sounds