This story on NPR today made me chuckle – the things teenagers will do to confound adults! I know that I hear birdsong better than non-birders, simply because my ears are *trained* to hear what distinguishes one birdsong from another, but this story reminded me that not all birders are able to hear all birdsongs. As we age, our ability to hear high-pitched sounds decreases. In my mid-thirties, I can hear the very high and thin notes of a flock of cedar waxwings, but as I age I will likely lose this ability to hear their “seeeeeee” notes. The high upslurred notes at the end of a Blackburnian’s song are also hard to hear if your ears are less sensitive.
Small flocks of cedar waxwings accompanied the dog and I on our evening walk today. They were congregating in the black locust trees in the neighborhood, attracted by the many insects, I guess. I’ve also noticed that hummingbirds seem to have a fondness for locust trees, at least the ones in the grove at Sandy Hook’s North Pond.