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Winter Field Notes - Reflections by Heather Murphy

Nature through an artist's eyes
© Heather Murphy View Large

Heather Murphy, a naturalist, watches for birds with the trained eye of a wildlife biologist, then makes a few field notes. From her journal: "I hear tzeet-tzeet-tzeet. Fast movement. Ah, a tiny kinglet. Which kinglet? Hm.m.m. No leaves anymore, so I easily see an olive-green back. And through my binocs, eye stripes! Aha! It's the Arctic-loving Golden-crowned Kinglet." Peek into Heather Murphy's journal, where you can see her drawings. See more of Heather's work at WildTales.com.

Full Transcript

Transcript: 

BirdNote®

Winter Field Notes: Hovering and Bobbing

Reflections by Heather Murphy

This is BirdNote!
[Sounds of a river, flowing]
We’re in the woods today, a mix of conifer and deciduous trees. Eighteen inches of snow cover the ground and the nearby river is freezing over. Heather Murphy, a naturalist, watches for birds with the trained eye of a wildlife biologist, then makes a few field notes. Here, she reads from her journal:
[Flock calls of Golden-crowned Kinglets]

“The sun glances off overhead branches and I hear tzeet-tzeet-tzeetz…fast movement.
Ah, a tiny kinglet, with teeny beak. Which kinglet? Hmmm…

[Flock calls of Golden-crowned Kinglets]

“No leaves anymore … so I easily see an olive-green back. And through my binoculars, eye stripes! Aha! It’s the Arctic-loving Golden-crowned Kinglet.

“Wow! Here’s something I’ve never seen, it’s hovering, like a hummingbird, at the very end of a Black Cottonwood branch… It’s gleaning, vacuuming the hibernating insects from the ends of twigs.”

  [Flowing river and song of the American Dipper]
 
“Downstream along the icy-edged river … I hear high pitched, shortened trills … Cool! It’s an American Dipper … bobbing up and down on the water-covered boulders. It dives into the clear moving waters … swimming … seeing through extra eyelids (nictitating membranes)…it pries submerged insects from river stones. Popping up on the other side of a slender ice sheet, the dipper, which is adapted to winter cold, resumes its watch.”

 [American Dipper and flowing river continue]

Take a moment to turn to the next page in Heather Murphy’s journal. Come to our website, birdnote.org where you can see her drawings.
###
Sounds of provided birds by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Calls of flock of Golden-crowned Kinglets 44839 recorded by Geoffrey Keller; song of American Dipper 105898 by Geoffrey Keller.
Ambient stream recorded by J. Kessler.
Heather Murphy recorded by Chuck Egner chuck@37cellars.com
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Chris Peterson
© 2012 Tune In to Nature.org               February 2017            Narrator: Mary McCann

ID# murphyh-01-2012-02-08  

 

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