Forest music

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Pacific Wren (Troglodytes pacificus). Lynn Headwaters Regional Park.

Every once in a while, a delightful 10 second song of shrill, melodious notes would fill the forest space I was standing in. The notes were crisp and loud and seemed to bounce off all the trees. I looked up high into the coniferous tree branches, but saw no birds. I looked on the forest floor; it was camouflage heaven: greens and browns striped with filtered sunlight. The song was repeated, a quieter version, by a bird a small distance away. For a few hours, the only birds I succeeded in spotting were two hairy woodpeckers (it was fairly easy to figure out which trees they were knocking on).

Heading home on a trail, I heard the song coming from the right, somewhere nearby. I scanned the small shrubs. It was right there: a wee medium-brown bird outlined by sunlight. How close could I get before it flew away? Not very close.

I continued along the trail to where it approaches the creek. Again I heard the long, very loud song, rising above the sound of the rushing, gurgling creek. It was coming from deeper in the woods this time. As I maneuvered around the forest floor plants, the notes got louder until the source sounded very close. It had to be right in front of me, it had to be! I stared and stared but saw nothing. Exuberant trills and notes filled the air again, followed by a quieter response. And the little brown bird appeared, on a branch of a chest-height Western Hemlock tree, 15 feet ahead of me.

I recorded the music, but I have a free WordPress account, so I can’t share it. Sorry. However, this webpage has a recording of both a Pacific Wren and Winter Wren.

The first wren I spotted:

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