Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Night Noise...A Bird of the Tallgrass

Sedge Wren singing (during day time!)
from Maximilian Sunflower 
(Helianthus maximlianii) perch
I've been recording the night's here...audio recording the night noise, it's mesmerizing.  Painting and photographing the natural world is my avocation...appreciating it is my "hobby" I guess you could say.  A personal interest only for the fun and enjoyment of it.

One thing I've not been totally successful in recording is the Sedge Wren here at Prairie Hill Farm.  They've been elusive to photograph as well, but one special characteristic with the Sedge Wren is one of it's calling habits - it sings nearly all night long!  Well, "singing" is a kind way to describe it.

Sedge Wrens do sing during daylight hours too, but I can't get over how they don't burn themselves out?!  When do they ever sleep?!  I "can" tell you when they don't!  Wake up around here at 1, 2, or 3 a.m. and I'll almost guarantee a Sedge Wren down in the pasture or out back, singing away.

I've been trying to record the nights here this summer...I've done bits and pieces in past years too, but the Sedge Wren's voice doesn't carry loudly enough to record well from the house.  I usually stick a microphone out the upstairs window and then go to bed!  That's the lazy way of recording nature!  I have given thought to taking the equipment out and recording outside...I've done it many times but found out the hard way...you don't let electronics run long outdoors here in the summer at night.  

Our dewpoints have been tropical here this summer...in the 70's to around 80 degrees.  I fried my parabolic microphone a few years back when I left it outside recording nature sounds.  I got up and went out to turn the tape over in my deck (to record the other side), only to find out the entire set up was covered in a heavy dew...fried everything that was running...a sad state of affairs for a "hobbiest" audio guy, and it took only an hour to do it.  :(

It's wet out there!!!

"Sedge Wren Sunrise"
(oil painting by Bruce A. Morrison)

 Sedge Wrens are one of our grassland birds...they prefer tall grass and pasture or prairie or wetland edge...it's their cup of tea.  I did a painting of one from a early sunrise encounter one year...the bird singing it's heart out like it was trying to get a few last notes in before the sun over took the landscape.  

Sedge Wrens are great examples of what you can have with biological diversity in a landscape.  I've said it before and I'll say it again, if you have plant diversity and not a monoculture, you introduce living space for invertebrates.  Not only do varieties of plant species create food for birds, but they also create food for insects - which again, creates food for more species of birds...this creates food for mammals...and reptiles, amphibians, and...well, you get the picture.

I'm going to double post this blog onto the "Prairie Hill Farm Studio" blog also...it's suitable for both purposes, I'll just tweak it a bit, so if you follow the "Prairie Hill Farm Studio" you'll see the little guy there as well.

Stay up late and give these little guys a listen...one of these days I'll possibly be able to post some audio of them for you...good night from the Studio!