Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Eagle Has Landed - Again (Update on Sound)

Nearly-Resident Eagle

NOTE:  Here's an update, posted on August 22 for those of you who haven't been able to sleep, due to obsessing over bird sound identification. Okay, fine. But it did bother me of course. I finally phoned the University of Wisconsin and talked to a bird expert there. After giving her my rendition of the bird sound and answering a bunch of other questions, she said that there will be variations within species sometimes, due to other circumstances. She cited a bluejay in her own yard that has a somewhat different sound from all the others. So, we're going with this answer: It was, indeed, the eagle making that sound. He was merely softly contemplating his domain and pleased with his position of dominance. There you have it. No more sleepless nights. :-)

***

This photo was actually taken last fall, but either this fella or a close friend of his was in the top of our tall pine tree just on the other side of the driveway again yesterday.  I hadn't noticed him right away, only because I tend not to walk with my head tipped way back to view the top of the tree. But I had Misty outdoors for her 'duty' and kept hearing a strange call. I'm going to try to write it here, and I don't know if it was the eagle or not. Whoever it was made the call over and over and over, with a few seconds between. I looked up 'eagle sounds' on the internet and listened to lots of them, including the one I remembered from the eagle being here last fall and others (or the same one or two) who visited in times before that.

Here's the sound I heard yesterday (and it seemed to be coming from his direction). The first syllable, written below, was kind of staccato, followed by a sort of whistle that started high and then descended in pitch.

CHK...PEEeeeeeeeeeeww.  (The lower-case letters are to denote a descending whistle.)

Got that?  I'm not a bird linguist, so I maybe not be writing that totally accurately, but I think it's pretty close. There were no glottal stops or anything that should make it difficult to write out.

So my wild bird-loving friends, do you have any idea if that's the contented sound an eagle makes or if it was from a hostile squirrel nearby.  Or was it an annoyed cardinal? Whatever it was, I need to know. I'm turning to y'all because I've already spent too much time online listening to bird sounds, and I need to can the green beans.


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41 comments:

TexWisGirl said...

since i've never been lucky enough to see an eagle in the wild, i am not familiar with their sounds. hope someone can help!

Frank said...

Super image. Sounds like you were listening to its 'chatter' call.

Arlene Grimm said...

So glad you dropped by Nanaland for a visit Judy!! We have some Bald Eagles that nest in Guntersville, Alabama. Beautiful creatures!

Susie said...

What a beautiful bird. I would love to see one in person. They are around our area. Because people have posted shots of them on line. The fellow Frank, seems to know what that call was. Blessings, xoxo,Susie

Blackberry Lane said...

What a gorgeous photo. I've never seen or heard the eagle in person.

Donna said...

Sorry, I can't help you!

Lorrie said...

There are tons of wild bald eagles around here. I'm not a bird linguist either, so can't help you with the sound. But eagles are pretty much kings of the trees and rarely let squirrels bother them.

HOOTIN ANNI said...

We used to see these in Colorado all the time....but not here.

Gorgeous image Judy.

DeniseinVA said...

That' I very exciting and this is a fantastic photo!!!

Debby Ray said...

Wow..that is a lovely photo of this guy! I have only seen an eagle way high in the sky...once in my lifetime.

Terri @ A Creative Princess said...

I'm sorry, I'm no help at all, but I sure enjoyed you trying to write the sound and also picturing you listening to bird calls on the computer!

Valerie said...

How beautiful! I'm not familiar with the sounds they make. We used to see them down the lane nesting on a telephone pole near my Grandma's house. It is a wonderful sight to see in the wild.
Blessings, Valerie

Terri D said...

I don't know what the sound means, but that is such a majestic bird. Oh my, he is gorgeous!

eileeninmd said...

Great shot of the eagle..I have heard their sounds, but I believe they can make different sounds too. If your google "bald eagle sounds" the Cornell website comes up and your can listen to the bird sounds there. Awesome sighting, so close to home.

Angela said...

Check here: http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/bald_eagle/sounds

Do any of these sound right?

Balisha said...

Beautiful picture of that majestic bird. I have watched the live nesting in Decorah Iowa. I have heard them, but never really paid attention enough to know if you heard an eagle calling. If a squirrel was around...he might be lunch.

Cranberry Morning said...

I had tried the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, but no, none of those were the sound. Hmmmm. The 'peal' on that site is the closest to the second part of the call, but it was always preceded by the fairly loud CHK sound, then a long, drawn-out descent of the 'peal.' Any other ideas?

Simply Linda said...

Check please??(rolling laughter)--at least that what it looks like to me..just teasing..I have no idea..interesting post..thanks for the smiles. Blessings

podso said...

You have captured a beautiful image but I can't help you with the sound. You did a good job of writing it phonetically.

Chatty Crone said...

I don't know but I have to tell you this - that was one great photo - I think those birds are just so majestic and strong.

Vee said...

Fantastic photo! I have been listening to eagle calls and you may have it right... You taught me to listen for the cardinal and I can still identify one by its call so you're good! Prior to this, I knew chickadees's calls and a warbler.

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

That really is an amazing sighting! don't know about the sounds though. How interesting...I'm looking at the comments to see what others have said! Enjoy your week! Hugs!

Cheryl said...

No help from my corner. I am not at all knowledgeable about bird calls. (I do recognize the call of the red-wing blackbird and the mourning dove. Impressed?) ;)

I hope you find your answer. How cool to have a bald eagle hanging out at your place!

Karen said...

Oh that's a grand shot!

Marie said...

Aren't you fortunate to have an eagle visitor! Wonderful! Hope you figure out if the sound was coming from him.

camp and cottage living said...

That is an amazing Eagle shot, Judy.
I'm no good at identifying bird calls at all-sorry!

Cheryl @ TFD said...

That is a terrific shot, Judy! I've seen several but never have gotten a shot this close. Aren't they beautiful!

Mike @ A Bit About Britain said...

That's a rare privilege, seeing a wild creature like that. We saw an eagle in Scotland, and it was amazing. I'm afraid I can't help with the identifying the sound, but I'm very surprised to read language like that on your blog...

Carla from The River said...

I think it was an eagle. They do talk a lot. My parents have an eagle nest on their property. We hear them often when we visit.
Great photo. :-)

Sandra said...

he is gorgeous and what you desribe sounds like osprey calls.. go here and listen to calls and juvenile
http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Osprey/sounds

Arija said...

What a grand creature.

Stephanie said...

Oh my, Judy, what a fantastic picture! We see several Eagle's here in the mountains, but none so close. Great picture :)

Jen Vandervoort said...

It's funny how our brain recognizes sounds without our consciousness doing so...in the spring we are overrun with Eagles here. I know they call, and know that they are out there for days before I "see" them.

It's as if I need a visual reminder to keep the Boo inside.

Jen

Brenda @ Its A Beautiful Life said...

Isn't he a beauty. Mmmm... I think you got that call pretty close. I could hear him in your phonetics.

So glad you shared....
Brenda

Beatrice Euphemie said...

What a great shot - such a beautiful bird! We have bald eagles here, too. Usually they make a hollow sounding clicking noise, but that could also be a chatter you heard. Sometimes the surrounding birds, especially Jays will imitate a 'hawk' sound much like you described to warn of this top echelon predator. If you have Jays, I would suspect they were warning everyone and that is what you heard. Hope you get to see this beautiful visitor again - but watch your pets - they like cats and small dogs for lunch. :( xo

Mama Hen said...

WOW! Beautiful picture and beautiful bird. I think your bird linguistics gives the perfect picture to your readers. How special to have such a symbol as your neighbor! :)

Hope all is well!

Mama Hen

Terri @ Backward B Ranch said...

I don't think that is an eagle sound..but not sure what it is. Awesome shot of the eagle.

Tree Hugger - Suzan said...

WOW!! That is amazing!! He is so large, it's a wonder that the tree can hold him!!
What a lucky day you had!!

Ida said...

I have no clue about what an Eagle sounds like. It's awesome though that you have one so close by. I did spot him in the tree when I enlarged your photo. So cool.

pattisjarrett said...

I've not been around eagles enough to know their sounds. The sound you described made me think of a squirrel--which often sounds like a cat at the end. I'll try to hang out with more eagles and see what I can learn!

J_on_tour said...

I remember the Eagle photo from last year, how exciting that it might be back again. Some travel miles around here just to see one and that's not just the eagle :-)

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