Category Archives: Animal Sounds

Weekly Puzzler #146: Another Mimic

Hey all and happy weekend to you! It’s amazing that this is the last weekend of April and we’re only two days away from May.

As you likely know, last week’s puzzler was a Northern Mockingbird, a wonderful mimic of bird and frog songs. Here’s another mimic–see if you can determine the difference between the mockingbird and this one. What bird is it?

Check back next weekend to learn the answer. And as always, use the comment box below to offer your guess. All correct answers will be entered in a drawing for a free photo prize from me–given away on the first day of summer. You have to be in it to win it! Good luck. See you again soon.

Weekly Puzzler Answer #145

Did you recognize the insistent calls in last week’s puzzler as ambird-2 Northern Mockingbird? If you’ve ever had one of these in your yard, looking for a mate, you know how persistent they can be!

They are masters at mimicking the calls of other birds, from robins, to blue jays, to towhees and everything in between. A male in his territory will repeat a bird call–say an American robin–2-6 times before switching to another bird’s call. They may go on for 10-15 different bird songs. They will also mimic frog songs, and some even mimic human-made sounds like doors opening or car alarms. They are really amazing when they get on a roll!

Watch this bird, which I captured recently at The North Carolina Arboretum, going through his repertoire of sounds:

Here’s the next puzzler, another bird song you may have heard while you were outside enjoying the sounds and sights of spring.

Have a great weekend and see you again soon!

Weekly Puzzler #145: Name that Bird!

So last week’s puzzler was a bird song–one of our most lovely, the Carolina Wren. I thought I would do another bird, this one common throughout much of North America, especially the southeast, and west to California. If this bird hasn’t found a mate, it might get desperate–much to the dismay of homeowners everywhere– and sing in the middle of the night–not bothering to wait until sunrise.

Listen here. Then give your guess using the comment box below.

Weekly Puzzler #144: Bubbling Song

Listen to this bird’s song.

Do you recognize it?

Check back next weekend to see if your guess was correct! And don’t forget to use the comment box below to give your guess. I give away a prize to one subscriber each quarter. All correct answers will be entered in the drawing–drawings are the first day of each season, so summer will be the next drawing. Good luck and see you again soon.

Weekly Puzzler Answer #116

First off, congratulations to Renee who was the winner of my Weekly Puzzler contest! Earlier this week I sent her one of my blank notebooks.

A new contest starts today! All you have to do is use the comment box below the puzzler to give your guess. All correct guesses will automatically be entered in the next drawing–way far away, on the first day of Fall! The more times you enter, the more chances you have to win!

So then, let’s look at last week’s puzzler. Did you know this bird? It is the song of an eastern towhee! They are famous for saying “Drink your teaaaaaa!” Can you hear this phrase in their song?

Here’s what one looks like.today33-8141

Have you ever seen or heard this bird in your neighborhood?


Eastern towhees are birds of the undergrowth, often seen shuffling through the leaf litter looking for good things to eat. Their diet includes seeds, fruit, buds, insects, spiders, millipedes, and other invertebrates. They live year-round in the southeastern US, but also can be seen during the summers in the northeast.

Click HERE to check out the next puzzler! (And your first chance to be entered in the next drawing!)

Weekly Puzzler #116: Who Says Drink Your Tea

This week’s puzzler is a sound from an animal common to the US. Listen below: Do you know who makes this song?

If you know or want to give a guess, please do so using the comment box below. All of the correct answers will be entered in a drawing. Get your guess in by tomorrow and you can be entered in THIS drawing. I will pull one name on Monday–the first official day of SUMMER! You could be the next winner!

Click HERE for the answer!

Weekly Puzzler Answer #109

A male red-bellied woodpecker

A male red-bellied woodpecker

If you’re a birder you may have known that last week’s puzzler was made by a red bellied woodpecker. This 9 inch woodpecker is common in the eastern United States and like other woodpeckers, makes its home in cavities in trees.

The red on its belly is not very obvious unless the bird is lying on a table in front of you or hanging from a suet feeder a few feet outside of your window. Through they do have red on their heads, they should not be confused with a true red-headed woodpecker, which as you can see from the pictures below is very different. My ornithology professor in college used to say a red-headed woodpecker looks like someone was holding onto his feet and then dipped his entire head in red paint. You cannot say the same about a red-bellied woodpecker!

A red-HEADED woodpecker

A red-HEADED woodpecker

You can tell a female red-bellied from a male by the amount of red on its head-the red on a male’s head extends down the back of the neck. Look at these pictures:


Notice that the two red spots connect down the back of his neck


The female has a spot on the top of her head where the red spots don’t connect

The red-bellied woodpecker, like other woodpeckers, eats insects and other invertebrates. To do this, it has a long, sticky tongue that is barbed for easily grabbing onto insects in holes in wood. Here is a red-bellied with a large beetle… yum! Don’t you wish you were a woodpecker! Also, interestingly enough, this woodpecker also eats plant material such as acorns, nuts, and pine cones, also seeds and fruits. And according to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, this woodpecker ” Occasionally eats lizards, nestling birds, and even minnows.” Who knew?

Check this out if you’d like to read about some of our other common woodpeckers–the pileated, (more about our largest woodpecker HERE) and yellow-bellied sapsucker. Or click HERE to read about the unique relationship between one of our other woodpeckers and hummingbirds.


Click HERE for the next puzzler. And hey, don’t forget to use the comment box below to enter your guess for a chance to be eligible for the next prize–to be given away on the first day of summer–June 21st. Every correct guess you give will increase your chances of winning! Good luck.

Have a wonderful weekend. Happy Saturday!