One of my favorite movies was Jeremiah Johnson. The movie staring Robert Redford is a fictionalized version of a true story. There’s a couple of scenes where Redford just freezes in mid sentence and scans the mountains visually because he knew something was wrong. The mountains were silent in those scenes. What tips the mountain man off to danger in the scenes is very subtle. It’s the alert call of a robin.
I have never actually read the book “What The Robin Knows” but it’s often been referred to in other wilderness guides and videos. The book encourages you to pay attention to the sounds of nature. Birds especially. They’re the tattletales of the forests.
The individual calls and their meaning is literally a complete language in and of itself. A person could devote an entire blog to that subject alone. During the course of writing this article I did a quick Google search and found enough material for anyone to learn the basics.
The types of calls are:
Location calls, which helps them to keep track of babies and mates.
Flock calls, which is keeping track of the flock.
Food calls, which communicates that food has been located.
Mating calls, when romance is in the air.
Alert calls, to warn of danger.
I have probably left something out but this is enough to get started.
Something that I like to pay attention to is the “holes” in the bird chatter. This works like sonar for locating predators in the woods. Or even lost people for that matter. During hunting season I let the birds tell me where the other hunters are by paying attention to the holes in the bird chatter.
The little robin in tonight’s feature image is feasting on fly honeysuckle berries. These berries are poison to people but are a staple crop for birds. The little guy was having the time of his life with a whole bush full of berries all to himself! I watched him gobble down a few of the bright red globes before heading out to have my own dinner.
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