Sunday, January 27, 2008


The bird correspondent, otherwise known as Sheri Joseph, sometimes affectionately dubbed "B.C." for short, has come through as usual. She sends along an audio "link" to the possible "dooby dooby dooby" sound which was the subject of our previous question. I could not properly "upload" the "software," so I was not able to hear for myself whether or not the bird correspondent had matched the sound to the bird - but I am going to say, "Yes." Because the bird correspondent is on the ball, people. She gets the job done. And this (the attached illustration, a visual representation of the possible "dooby dooby dooby dooby doo") looks like what I imagine those birds sounded like. Case closed. The bird correspondent chalks up the "dooby dooby" to the Carolina wren. Before I received her message I wondered if it might possibly be a rufous-sided towhee (of whose existence I am aware only because of the bird correspondent). What made me think this? Well, I wondered if the rufous-sided towhee might have been named for the sound it makes. What sounded to me like "dooby dooby dooby" may have struck someone else as "towhee towhee towhee" (sheer speculation on my part; I have no idea what sound a rufous-sided towhee makes, or even how his sides got so rufous). Which reminds me of another question I wanted to ask the bird correspondent: Is there some official arbiter of what birds "say"? I mean, we all know that the cuckoo says cuckoo. And, if I am recalling my Mikado correctly (although my COMPLETE ANNOTATED GILBERT & SULLIVAN was left for safekeeping with my sister in Atlanta), a "little tom-tit" says "willow, tit-willow, tit-willow." (See the clip at the bottom of this "post" for confirmation.) So. Is there an official guide or officiating committee that assigns specific "official" human syllables to specific bird calls? Or do we just reach these conclusions by folksy consensus (in addition to the cuckoo, the bob-white and the whip-poor-will leap to mind)?