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Morning on the Bayou

The bayou's luxuriant wetness supports lush growth -- and birds!

Cypress trees draped with Spanish moss rise from still, dark water. A Barred Owl hoots mightily as an alligator slithers by. It's morning on the bayou. Bayous are found in much of the Southeast from Arkansas to Alabama, across flat land that drains into the Mississippi River. A bayou's luxuriant wetness supports lush growth of trees and shrubs. These in turn offer secluded nesting for a broad range of birds, including the Anhinga, the Yellow-throated Warbler, and this Yellow-crowned Night-Heron.

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Transcript: 

BirdNote®

Morning on the Bayou

Written by Bob Sundstrom

This is BirdNote.
[Bayou ambient, throughout]
It’s morning on the bayou.
Cypress trees draped with Spanish moss rise from still, dark water. A Red-bellied Woodpecker calls, and then drums on an ancient snag. [Rolling call & drum of Red-bellied Woodpecker] A Northern Parula [PAIR-yuh-luh] – some say PAIR-uh-luh, and still others puh-ROO-luh – sings its rapid, rising trill. [Northern Parula song] A Barred Owl hoots mightily as an alligator slithers by.   
[Barred Owl hoot sequence]
Bayous are found in much of the Southeast from Arkansas to Alabama, across flat land that drains into the Mississippi. [Northern Parula song]. A typical bayou, such as those for which Louisiana is famous, is a tributary stream or a former river channel that loops and meanders, but has a very sluggish flow. And the word bayou? It may sound French, but it comes from a Choctaw word for “small stream.”
A bayou’s luxuriant wetness supports lush growth of trees and shrubs, which in turn offer secluded nesting for a broad range of birds.  The striking Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, nests on bayous, as does the slim and sinuous Anhinga (an-HING-guh). And these Yellow-throated Warblers join many songbirds in testifying to the bountiful habitat of the bayou [Song of Yellow-throated Warbler].
Today’s show brought to you by The Bobolink Foundation. For BirdNote, I’m Mary McCann. [Call of Red-bellied Woodpecker]
                                        ###
Sounds provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Bayou ambient 128918 recorded by G.Vyn and B. Clock; churring call and drumming 102195 of Red-bellied Woodpecker recorded by D.W. Stemple; song of Northern Parula recorded by W.L. Hershberger; Barred Owl 128933 recorded by G. Vyn; and song of Yellow-throated Warbler 105488 by G.A. Keller.
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Chris Peterson
© 2012 Tune In to Nature.org     May 2012   Narrator: Mary McCann

ID#    bayou-01-2012-05-07       bayou-01b

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