A birder's poemby Cathy Wurzer, Minnesota Public Radio
If you're out for walk today, you might hear a warbler or a robin or another bird song that you don't recognize.
Serious birders have mnemonic devices that help them identify birds by their songs. They think of often silly phrases that mimic the sounds the birds make. Tom Anderson, a naturalist at the Lee and Rose Warner Nature Center in the St. Croix Valley, put together a bunch of these phrases into a kind of a birder's poem. We added the actual sounds of the bird calls.
St. Paul, Minn. — Here are the phrases that birders use to identify bird calls:
Yellow warbler: Sweet, sweet, summer sweet.
White-throated sparrow: Oh sweet Canada, Canada, Canada.
Black-throated blue warbler: I am so lazy.
Olive-sided flycatcher: Quick-three-beers!
Golden-cheeked warbler: Lazy daisy.
Chestnut-sided warbler: Pleased, pleased to meet you!
Great horned owl: Who? Who? Who?
Prairie chicken: Old Man Muldoon, Muldoon, Muldoon.
Blue jay: Jay! Jay! Jay!
Tufted titmouse: Peter! Peter! Peter!
Red-eyed vireo: Here I am, way up here, see me?
Black-capped chickadee: Here sweety.
Least sandpiper: Creeep! Creeep! Creeep!
Warbling vireo: I'll grab you and I'll hold you and I'll squeeze you til you squirt!
Ovenbird: Teacher! Teacher! Teacher!
Whip-poor-will: Whip-Poor-Will, whip-Poor-Will.
Great-crested flycatcher: Weep, weep, weep!
American bittern: Plum puddin, plum puddin, plum puddin!
American goldfinch: Potato chips, potato chips, potato chips.
Carolina wren: Tea kettle, tea kettle, tea kettle!
Ash-throated flycatcher: Tea-for-two, tea-for-two!
Rufous-sided towhee (Eastern towhee): Drink your tea!
Barred owl: Who-cooks-for-you-all?
Eastern meadowlark: See-you, see-year!
- Morning Edition, 05/17/2006, 7:55 a.m.