[UNCLASSIFIED]RE: [canberrabirds] Audubon bird (?) caller

Subject: [UNCLASSIFIED]RE: [canberrabirds] Audubon bird (?) caller
Date: Sun, 16 Jul 2006 18:49:43 +1000
Yeah I used mine for a while and then gave up. Although I could get a pretty good array of sounds out of it, only fairy wrens responded, and usually with only one or two calls and then they realised it was fake and gave up. It found it hard to get a consistent sound.
Perhaps I was getting over enthusiastic, and the birds may have thought my 'bird' was on speed and they didnt want to be anywhere near it.
I have since buried it. I assumed that my Bird caller was speaking 'american bird' rather than 'australian bird'.
On the yellow robins, I was also amazed by the number of other species that came in to check out a yellow robins alarm call at the botanic gardens a few weeks/months ago.

From: John Layton [
Sent: Saturday, 15 July 2006 9:23 PM
To: Canberrabirds
Cc: John Byrne
Subject: [canberrabirds] Audubon bird (?) caller

A couple of birthdays ago, one of the brats presented me with an Audubon bird caller. It's a little birch-wood cylindrical thing, 30 mm long. The open end is fitted with a pewter 'piston' which, when twisted, emits lots of twitterings, sqeakings etc which are supposed attract birds. But no. The dopey, feathered philistines are largely unresponsive to my virtuoso performances.
Save for one time, last spring at ANBG, when I brought my Audubon bird caller into play before an audience of Brown Thornbills. They reacted by flitting about within a metre of my head. Subsequently, however, I noticed I was near their nest site. So perhaps my intrusion, rather than my Audubon bird caller, caused their angst.
Does anyone out there use the Audubon bird caller? Or has acquisitive brat been sold a pig-in-a-poke? I've tried  thinking of an avian equivalent to pig-in-a-poke sans success. Should I revert to oral 'pishing and twishing' ? One needs to be careful when pronouncing that in front of smart-Alec/Alexandra non-birders because they may react with ribald remarks.
I recently acquired an old duck-caller that resembles a sawn-off wooden megaphone. If you blow really hard, it produces a loud QUACK! We took it to the Fyshwick sewage ponds and, after a lot of experimental huffing and puffing, Samantha transmitted a glissando of creditable quacks that reverberated across the tranquil, turbid waters but, other than sending a raft of some 50 Eurasian Coot into frenzied retreat, nothing happened. A few (apparently hearing-impaired) ducks treated us with ignore. Dear brat needs more duck trumpet practice.
John Layton.


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