Why do birds get up so ….. early? Yesterday, I was up at 5 am so I could help with a Pheasant triangulation experiment. Two cups of coffee and a 40 minute drive later, I think I was in heaven. Well, if not heaven some place close to it for a warm June morning. My companions and I walked through a grass field – pausing for 15 to 20 minute intervals to listen for the sounds of Ring-necked Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus). Pheasants arrived in the United States from Asia and are a popular game bird. Cornell’s web site “All About Birds” has a great description and pictures (http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Ring-necked_Pheasant/id).
Yesterday morning was great. There was a mild breeze to keep me comfortable. The song birds were gossiping in the hedge rows. Crowish discussions could be heard from the nearby trees. Bees and crickets threw in their opinions as we walked through the field. The chest high grasses tickled the back of my arms as I stood quietly straining to hear the “koork-KOK” from male Pheasants. Wait … was that it? No? Ok, move another 50 meters into the field.
What a wonderful way to spend the morning!