Screaming your lungs out
So... a bird that impressed me, huh?
This is the theme for this week's SMAP! I have been impressed by tons of birds, so I'll just pick the last one that did it; and it happens to have happened in my latest birdwatching experience!
Corn buntings, at first sight, are not exactly birds that stand out. Males are slightly larger than females (although for me it's impossible to tell in the field if you see one alone), and similar plummage: a "boring" brownish/grey colour with stripes. No fancy colours, no long feathers, not a visual characteristic that stands out.
I had never seen corn buntings in this location, and as soon I started walking in the fields, I could tell they were there.
Why? Well, I told you they didn't stand out... until they start to sing, that is!
Their calling is very very easy to identify; you hear it a few times, and you'll remember it. And they do it loud as hell!! The cherry on top? They usually pick a high location to do it, so it's normally easy to spot them. Extra cherry? They're not shy at all!
This was the first one I was able to photograph. It seemed he was fresh out of bed, all ruffled feathers;he was taking care of the plummage, and in the breaks...
Screaming my lungs out Time to sing for a bit!
Although can't tell just by the looks, all of these were probably males; I've seen a few flying to the location where other one was singing, as if trying to spook the competition.
I don't think I ever took this many photos with an open beak as in this day; the calling starts with a chirp that keeps accelerating and finishes in a long chirp, so they keep their beak open in the last part of the calling more than enough time for a photo. I know, probably not the best description; but trust me, you hear it once, and you'll understand.
They're also not picky about the singing location; top of pine trees will do as well:
They were one of the highlights of this birdwatching session for sure!
They're common in a good part of Europe. If you have them at your location, chances are that you've heard them, at the very least.
Have you ever heard or seen them? Let me know! 😉
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