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Sounds of Springtime

http://s98.photobucket.com/albums/l279/stegmann/?action=view&current=MVI_0812.mp4

We hear the creeks gurgling once again. Bird songs fill the air.

In the National Parks, we often talk about Soundscapes…. The chorus of sounds that we associate with a specific landscape or set of resources.

One such sound, typical of Denali’s spring season, is that of the call of a male Willow Ptarmigan. It’s his mating call. And it certainly is catchy. You pretty much can’t mistake it for any other sound.

Last week, I had a visitor ask me about frogs in the park. He was convinced he’d heard a frog. We talked for a brief moment about the one frog that calls Denali ‘home’. And then I pulled out my little tablet computer and played (thanks to the _iBird_ app) for him the call of the male Willow Ptarmigan. Turns out, the Ptarmigan is what he heard, not the frog.

Between Mount Rainier and Denali, I have learned the distinct calls of a couple of birds: grouses and ptarmigan. Very interesting calls. And very memorable.

Take a listen to the video. I apologize for wind and creaking noises; today was very windy in the park!

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