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Sprague's Pipit - The Missouri Skylark

A graceful glider!
© Steve Collins flickr.com/odephoto View Large

In Rare & Elusive Birds of North America, naturalist William Burt writes about Sprague's Pipit, also known as the Missouri Skylark. "Upward he goes, in bounding spirals: two, three, four, even five-hundred feet above the plain it is supposed; then he weaves about slowly, easily, as if swimming, and he sings . . . for 20, 30 minutes or more, sometimes an hour by some accounts – then suddenly plummets . . . like a falcon at terrific speed. Then in the nick of time before self-destructing he scales away and glides, and gracefully alights.”

Full Transcript

Transcript: 

BirdNote®

Sprague's Pipit – The Missouri Skylark

Written by William Burt

This is BirdNote!

 [Song of the Sprague's Pipit]

In his book Rare & Elusive Birds of North America, Connecticut naturalist and writer, William Burt, tells of the Sprague's Pipit, also known as the "Missouri Skylark."

[Song of the Sprague's Pipit]

"Upward he goes, in bounding spirals: two, three, four, even five-hundred feet above the plain it is supposed; then he weaves about slowly, easily, as if swimming, and he sings. [Song of the Sprague's Pipit]

 "… for 20, 30 minutes or more, sometimes an hour by some accounts – then suddenly plummets, …like a falcon at terrific speed. Then in the nick of time before self-destructing he scales away and glides, and gracefully alights. 

"A pipit sings in clear and cloudy skies alike. One evening in the rumbling black sky before a storm, [thunder] I heard one sing with unusual speed and energy; and he was still up there singing when I left, with rain under way. [Rain, plus song of the Sprague's Pipit] Another time, after a brief tornado had appeared and a hailstorm roared past, I heard one sing with the same exhilaration. The wind whipped cold. [Wind] Loose wisps of cloud drew past, sand flew, and a rainbow segment came and went. And during all this, a pipit was up there singing deliriously, as if it were … occasion for a party."

[Song of the Sprague's Pipit]

For BirdNote, I’m Mary McCann.

###

Bird sounds provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Song of Sprague’s Pipit [50287] recorded by G.A.Keller.

Ambient is meadowlarks and bobolinks from Canada’s Grasslands National Park, recorded by Gordon Hempton and provided courtesy of QuietPlanet.com. Thunder Nature SFX Essentials #7, rain drops #12 and wind #2, recorded by Gordon Hempton. 

BirdNote's theme music was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler.

Producer: John Kessler

Executive Producer: Chris Peterson

© 2014 Tune In to Nature.org  April 2014  Narrator: Mary McCann

ID#   SPPI-01-2014-04-28 SPPI-01  

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