I have discovered over the last few weeks that Henslow's Sparrows call all night long.  This past year we did not have our prairie hayed due to circumstances beyond our control.  The prairie, as a result, is taller than it has been in recent years.  The Henslow's have found this taller, thicker vegetation attractive and they have stayed with us this year as opposed to prior years when they just stop by and move on.

Maybe you all knew about the night calling, but it was news to me.

Marge Lumpe

P. O. Box 448
Cole Camp, MO 65325
Benton County
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Date: Sat, 9 May 2015 14:36:15 -0600
From: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Night Birding, Russellville, MO, Cole Co., 5/9
To: [log in to unmask]

Late last night/early this morning (depending upon your point of view), I was walking from the garage to the house at 12:53 AM when I heard a chip note. I stopped to listen to the dark of night. Head held high to the heavens and eyes closed I anxiously awaited the next call! Between chirps of Green and Cricket Frogs from a nearby pond, I made out the calls of Gadwalls flying overhead heading northward (based on the change in the volume of their calls). I continued to stand there for 10 minutes, and in that time, I heard the following:
 1 Green Heron
 2 Indigo Buntings
 1 Canada Goose
 1 Chuck-wills-widow
 3 (minimum) Gadwall
 1 Acadian Flycatcher
 1 Swainson's Thrush
 12 (minimum) Yellow-billed Cuckoos
 2 sparrow species (unidentifiable)
 I think I'm going to alter my bird watching time to the night-time hours during migration!
This morning, we had at minimum 18 Swainson's Thrushes around our house as well as minimum 2 Gray-checked Thrushes, at least one Veery. Oddly, most the Swainson's Thrushes when viewed have been between 6 and 23 feet up in trees; I'm used to seeing these birds on the ground and in the understory. I think they may also be picking worms (caterpillars) off the leaves though I have yet to actually see them pluck one. I was able to wade into the edge of the woods where a Gray-cheeked Thrush was calling, and it eventually flew to within 12 feet of me at eye level which was by far the absolute best look I've had at these musical wizards!
Bird on!

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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