Tuesday, March 12, 2013

rite of spring

Peent! Peent...Peent! 

The sound is insect-like and primal. The buzzy "peenting" call of a chunky upland shorebird, a male, his opening salvo of spring and impending, albeit brief, romance. In strict terms of biology: The passing of his genetic material to the next generation, so that other chunky timberdoodles will follow. 

And a rite of spring for me: Searching for the aerial displays and raspy calls of American woodcocks hidden in the muddy fields, the sodden grass, at twilight. 

Thanks to all who joined me on the outing orchestrated by Ijams Nature Center. And thank you, Hannah in the bright pink coat!

Fellow searcher Jason Sturner writes: "A nature-filled weekend in Knoxville: male frogs and toads vocalizing for the ladies; woodcocks in courtship flights beneath the clouds and stars; a gorgeous Fox Sparrow amid a flush of juncos; fresh layers of sun on swelling tree buds; hepatica blooming on a woodland hill; the air an arrived exhalation of the coming spring."

Valarie Johnson linked a video.

1 comment:

Marie said...

The woodcock is one of my favorite birds...and I had never heard its vocalization. Loved this! Your birding excursion sounded so nice. I know everyone enjoyed it!