Calling Backyard Birdwatchers!

Today I came home from work, parked my car, and while I was making my way to my house, I heard the strangest sound. Our neighborhood is fortunate to have many local bird varieties, and I am accustomed to hearing all sorts of avian songs. This sound however, was different, and new to me. Immediately I thought of a Cardinal, with it's strong, sharp cry, but I am far too familiar with Cardinals, and knew without a doubt that this unusual song could not possibly come from my favorite red bird.

Looking about, I located the object of my distraction. He was perched atop a nearby tree, sitting on a still leafless branch which extended out over my neighbor's back yard. I wondered if possibly this cry was a
distress call, or the call of a bird trying to locate it's mate.

Gathering my family outdoors, I pointed to the bird. Their first reaction was,
"Oh, that's just a Robin". (From our vantage point, and shimmering in the sunshine, it's breast appeared orange.) After watching it for a few minutes, we realized that it just couldn't be a Robin, as the shape was entirely wrong. Soon my feathered friend flew away.

About an hour later, and much to my surprise, this same bird appeared sitting on the bushes outside my front door! All my neighbors flocked to see this new addition to our beloved neighborhood wildlife. No one knew the species!

Amazing us even more, this bird let us walk quietly around him, talk amongst ourselves, and get close enough to photograph it without becoming alarmed. He, (or she), seemed to be enjoying the attention! I felt like it was posing for me.

Now the sun has set, and our visitor has gone to it's nest, wherever that may be, and we are left still questioning, "What kind of bird was that?"

Can anyone help us?


Sunflower Ranch said...

Very interesting!!! I live in the Far West and the bird books I have [can put my fingers on easily, I should say] only cover the area slightly East of the Rockies to the Pacific Coast. I didn't see any kind of drawing that looks like this little fellow.

However, in looking at the body shape and the long pointed beak, it could be a type of plover or a shore bird of some type. Can you see or describe the feet? That will also give you a major clue as to what it is.

Are you close to a large lake with an undeveloped area? Your little guy could have gotten lost. Check with the county wildlife office for help in identifying any migrating birds not native to your area. This one could have become separated from the flock on their way to the Arctic or Northern Canada where they breed each summer.

Keep us posted on what you find out. I will keep looking, too. It's awfully cute! Have you named it yet?

Sunflower Ranch said...

It might also be a type of sapsucker or woodpecker, though the head seems a little small for a woodpecker/flicker type bird.

Fleapirates said...

Oh he IS cute, SF! Thanks for trying to identify him! I can hear him again this morning. His cry sounds almost like a teapot whistling... in 5 short bursts, in a single tone. I zoomed in on those pics, but still can't see his feet because of the brush! Darn!

And yes, I live 2 blocks from the shore of Lake Michigan.

A name? LOL... this 6am this morning, I'd like to call him NOISY!

Fleapirates said...

I think he's a Woodcock!

Look what I found at Google Images!