1. (Redwinged) Blackbird. 2. (Stellar) Bluejay 3. (Long-nosed) Bat
4. Mourning Dove 5. (Gila) Woodpecker 6. (Great Horned) Owl*
7. (Tree) Swallow 8. (Cooper's) Hawk 9. Crow 10. Robin
Birds figure widely in traditional music and folksongs throughout the world. This 34th issue of I and the Bird invites you to an international hootenanny** at Tortoise Trail, in Tucson, Arizona, as birders from around the world sing their joyous songs. This is a multi-media production! See the beautiful photos our singers have brought us while you listen to them sing. Come on in, join the fun, and - in hootenanny tradition - sing along with us!
Duncan of Ben Cruachan Blog sings us "A tale of two trips," treating us to the bird treasures, including Freckled Ducks, that he found and photographed on each.
Snail of A Snail's Eye View lives in Melbourne, Victoria. Snail's song gives us the sight and sound of King Cracticus, the Black Butcherbird, a tropical species, restricted to rainforests of Far North Queensland, the Northern Territory and New Guinea.
Trevor, of Trevor's Birding, who hails from Murray Bridge, South Australia says of his song, Great Birding Moments #3 - The Mistletoebird, "Mistletoebirds are regular - almost daily visitors to our garden here in South Australia. Their cheerful calls and bright colours are enough to lighten any day."
Accompaniment: Traditional Australian bush music instruments: lagerphone (or Murrimbidgee River Rattler)***, bush bass, didjeridu, and clapsticks.FROM THE UNITED KINGDOM AND NORTHERN IRELAND
- Save the Ribble!'s band members are Riversider, Reigh Belisima, Atlantic Salmon, and Allotment Plotter. Their work is dedicated to preserving the beauty of the River Ribble, which flows through Lancashire and Yorkshire. Their exciting new song: New Ribble RSPB Reserve takes a mighty leap forward! is a mighty piece, accompanied by fine photographs, announcing that work can now begin on their new wetland nature reserve. Accompaniment: Lute, hurdy-gurdy, psaltery, Northumbrian small-pipes.
- A resident of Sheffield, Roger takes us to the southwest corner of England, where he sings "Choughed to be back in Cornwall." This roundelay tells of his delight in sighting a bird once thought to be extinct in Cornwall. Accompaniment: Traditional Cornish instruments - bagpipes and fiddles.
- Charlie of Charlie's Bird Blog lives in Chippenham, Wiltshire. His airline job takes him all over the world - he doesn't get much sleep, but he gets fantastic opportunities for birding. This month Charlie sings of Africa: Kirstenbosch Botanic Gardens, Cape Town in a wonderfully illustrated work. Accompaniment: African strings, flutes, drums, marimbas, gourds and horn trumpets.
- Peregrine Craig Nash of Peregrine's Bird Blog hails from Strangford, Northern Ireland. Sing along with him as he regales us with the ballad of Migration Birding in Donegal where he met Ian Wallace of "Beguiled by Birds" fame. His band accompanies him on Uillean pipes, tin whistles and flutes, bodhrans and bones.
- greenmantim of Walking the Berkshires, who flew from Massachusetts, sings us a wondrous ballad, The Casual Twitcher: How I Came to Love Birds, surprisingly set far from home, as you might guess from the accompanying instruments: strings, flutes, drums, marimbas, gourds and horn trumpets.
- Lillian Stokes of Stokes Birding Blog from New Hampshire is an expert tunesmith. Her tune, Freedom: Broad-winged Hawk, heralds a Broad-winged Hawk experiencing its first taste of freedom. She sings against the background of harp-zither, dulcimer, guitar, bass.
- laurahinnj, of Somewhere in NJ, presents a lilting mystery song, Bird Quiz! As she raises her sweet voice a capella, try to guess the identity of the birds she's presenting.
- Also from New Jersey is Patrick of The Hawk Owl's Nest. Patrick thrills us with A Brief Look at a Harris's Sparrow, an unexpected encounter on his way to Sandy Hook, where both he and laurahinnj volunteer.
- The Ridger, keeper of The Greenbelt, brings us her song, Birds and Others, from Maryland. "I've moved to a new office building with a nice little park to walk through, and this week I've been seeing some of my favorite back-home birds coming in for the winter."
- AÖrstan of Snail's Tales just flew in from Maryland, too. He has an exciting tale to sing: Thursday Afternoon in the Park when he encountered a wonderful surprise on a park bench.
- From the Olympic Peninsula in Washington, robin andrea of Dharma Bums, fingers flying on her concertina, sings a delightful sea song, The Birds on the Bay, as she wonders "Which birds stay through the winter in your neck of the woods?"
- My own voice is pretty rusty these days, so I've asked my mariachi friends to create a norteño about the juvenile Cooper's Hawk that visited our backyard in mid-September. They play on violins, vihuelas, and guitars.
NEXT IATB #35. Don't forget to tune in on October 26, when Dan of Migration will be hosting IATB #35. Email your posts to him at daniel-dot-rhoads AT gmail-dot-com or to Mike of 10000 Birds at mike AT 10000birds-dot-com. Deadline for submissions is Tuesday, October 24.
Before we head for home, join us in singing The Birds, a New England tribute to our feathered (and one leather-winged) friends based on an early English song. (There's a portrait of each of the principal birds in this song on our IATB Hootenanny poster.) If you don't know remember the tune, listen to this midi file for a quick reminder.
from Songs from the Hills of Vermont, 1919
Hi! says the blackbird, sitting on a chair,
Once I courted a lady fair;
She proved fickle and turned her back,
And ever since then I'm dressed in black.
Hi! says the blue-jay as she flew,
If I was a young man I'd have two;
If one proved fickle and chanced for to go,
I'd have a new string to my bow.
Hi! says the little leather winged bat,
I will tell you the reason that,
The reason that I fly in the night
Is because I lost my heart's delight.
Hi! says the little mourning dove,
I'll tell you how to gain her love;
Court her night and court her day,
Never give her time to say "0 nay."
Hi! said the woodpecker sitting on a fence,
Once I courted a handsome wench;
She proved fickle and from me fled,
And ever since then my head's been red.
Hi! says the owl with my eyes so big,
If I had a hen I'd feed like a pig;
But here I sit on a frozen stake,
Which causes my poor heart to ache.
Hi! says the swallow, sitting in a barn,
Courting, I think, is no harm.
I pick my wings and sit up straight
And hope every young man will choose him a mate.
Hi! says the hawk unto the crow,
If you ain't black then I don't know.
Ever since old Adam was born,
You've been accused of stealing corn.
Hi! says the crow unto the hawk,
I understand your great, big talk;
You'd like to pounce and catch a hen,
But I hope the farmer will shoot you then.
Hi! says the robin, with a little squirm,
I wish I had a great, big worm;
I would fly away into my nest;
I have a wife I think is the best.
* Many thanks to t.beth of Firefly Forest for the use of her Great Horned Owl photo.
** Hootenanny, n. 1. An informal social gathering or concert featuring mostly folk songs, sometimes dancing, and where the audience often participates in the singing. 2. A gathering of folk musicians wherein each person gets an allotted amount of time in which to share songs they wrote.
*** For those of us in the northern hemisphere who might not know this instrument, the lagerphone is an upright pole with two crosspieces upon which are screwed beer bottle tops. The noise is made by hitting the instrument on the floor, at the same time striking the middle section with a solid piece of wood.