Q: Can you speak to birds???!

From 12 year old Leila, Montevideo, Uruguay.

“Can you speak to birds?”

Answer: Yes. When we were working in the Eastern Caribbean surveying seabirds, we would get into our kayak at night and paddle to the little islands close to us. Once we were close enough, we would drift on the waves and play the call through a loud speaker of the “Audubon’s Shearwater”, a type/ species of seabird that lays its eggs in the area we were studying. If the shearwater was at home, it would reply! Often it would come down to our kayak and swoop over us screaming its cackling call, as he thought we were rival who might take his mate! We had to survey these special birds at night, because unlike many other seabirds, that is the time when they return to their burrows after fishing for days at sea.

In Southern Chile, David also spoke to a Megallenic Woodpecker. Really! Megallenic Woodpeckers are large and the female has a black head with a “top-knot” and the male a red head. Their call is a very loud drilling created by the beak tapping very fast against a hollow tree trunk. David ‘mimicked’ or copied the call by knocking two pebbles against the trunk. The female was very attracted to him and swooped onto his tree, just above his head to investigate!!

Check out here David’s blog and video about talking to this lovely lady woodpecker!!

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