Audubon bird (?) caller

To: "'Canberrabirds'" <>
Subject: Audubon bird (?) caller
From: "Frank Antram" <>
Date: Sun, 16 Jul 2006 19:14:58 +1000

For some reason, the Audubon bird caller and, indeed, ‘pishing’ seems to work a lot better on northern hemisphere birds, especially warblers.  Aussie birds don’t seem to be so easily fooled.  I have found that this technique invariably drives birds away, rather than attracts them (in Australia).




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.






<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the Canberra Ornithologists Group mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the list contact David McDonald, list manager, phone (02) 6231 8904 or email . If you can not contact David McDonald e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU