Thursday, June 19, 2014

A Childhood Sound Returns

The first bird sound I learned as a child was the distinctive Bobwhite quail.

His "bob-white" call rolled across the countryside--and soon rolled over my tongue.

And then it disappeared.

For years, the only bob-white sound I've heard have been around sheepdog trials. For many handlers, the come-bye, or go left, whistle is the sound of bob-white.

Until this spring.

For the first time in years, I've heard a Bobwhite quail.

These birds live in overgrown fields, shrubby areas and grasslands--something that's been lost to modern farming practices and development. Years ago, we established a wildlife strip along our fence rows and have turned a farm field into pasture. Maybe the quail find it attractive.

As I listen to him sing throughout the day, I watch the Border collies. Do they think this feathered visitor is giving herding commands?

They don't seem to notice.

Because they can tell the difference between a human bob-white call and that of the real thing.

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