In the early stages of the dawning day this morning, I was able to tally about 50 species averaging one per minute of my time available to walk around the yard before rushing off to work.
Here I had been thinking that nothing could possibly drown out the songs of Northern Parulas . . . until this morning when the Tennessee Warblers finally warmed up their larynxes. I almost needed earplugs the were so very loud; however, it was still music to these ears. The mere volume of maybe 6 or more birds and their proximity to me made it almost impossible to hear even a calling Swainson's Warbler that was 18 feet from me low in some short, flowering Dogwoods.
During brief lulls between the Tennessee Warbler's calls, I was able to hear Yellow-billed Cuckoos calling from three different directions, and just before having to turn toward my vehicle to leave for work, a Cuckoo flew over the center of the drive where there's a break in the tree canopy. I watched it land awkwardly as if it had overshot the landing. Oh it stuck the landing alright mush like a gymnast hits the mat after double layout dismount off the uneven bars; although instead of arms waving wildly, its tail shot straight up over its body as it tried to regain composer. It was a bit odd. As it up righted itself, I could have sworn I saw its chest pop out with head held high as it looked around - possibly either to see if anyone was watching the near mishap or as if (like a gymnast) it was showing that dash of flare at the end of its routine puntuated with a big smile and nod to the judges and crowd. Regardless of motive, there sat a wonderful, long-tailed, red eye-ringed Black-billed Cuckoo.
With over a 7 year droubhgt for this species, I was lucky enough to have witnessed a Black-billed Cuckoo (possibly same bird) here at the house Sunday am before running off for the ASM Spring Meeting field trip to Prairie Garden Trust where the group was afforded great looks at both cuckoo species. I did manage to capture a few decent images of the Black-billed Cuckoo at our house Sunday a.m. of which can be viewed here if interested:
Other highlights in our yard this morning included (but not limited to):
Chestnut-sided Warbler
Magnolia Warbler (eye level @ )
Blackpoll Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler
Nashville Warblers
(hoards) Tennessee Warblers
6+ Rose-breasted Grosbeaks
Swainson's Warbler
Monday evening at the house, I watched a Red-headed Woodpecker flycatching over the driveway. As I looked on, I saw that an Eastern Wood Peewee joined in the acrobatics as if not to be outdone with regards to aerial prowess.
Bird on my feather fanatic friends!
Chris Barrigar
Cole Co.
Russellville, MO
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"I only went out for a walk, and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in."   JOHN MUIR

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