Do you hear what I hear?

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.

4 thoughts on “Do you hear what I hear?”

  1. Thank you for the links – I am delighted that I can still hear the songs. I love the cedar waxwings – we have been planting in hopes of attracting them… they pass by but we hope they will prolong their visits next year.

  2. With all my new plantings, I hope I get more that the usual pass-by of waxwings. Aren’t they just the most regal of birds? And so polite: Birds that pass fruit to each other are higly evolved.
    Thank goodness that I can still hear their song…I thought that my metal years might have caused permanent damage.

  3. It occured to me today (because the neighborhood is full of them right now) that I probably should have included Blackpoll warblers on the hard-to-hear list.

    Endment: I’ve read that waxwings don’t stay in one place for very long – like nomads they travel to wherever the best food is. I’d love to have them in my yard more often, rather than at the tips of the tallest trees, so I keep planting berry bushes.

    Susan: glad there’s no long-term damage. 😉

  4. I loved catching up and reading about the birds, bunnies and pond updates. I am dismayed to learn that as one ages, it is more difficult to hear birdsongs! Guess that includes me! Loved the photo of the bunny playing with the measuring spoons! Upon reading about your pond/trees, I’ve decided that your garden is for sure the perfect setting for a late afternoon or early evening unit party-drinks and appetizers by the pond…how nice does that sound??? I’ll be the party planner – you supply the ambiance!


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