Posted by: atowhee | May 15, 2021


This old bird had to learn new tricks. Specifically how to edit with software called “Mixpad” to produce short segments for a soon-to-launch NPR station in Sonoma County. The station invited me to provide short audio reports on birds found in Sonoma County, complete with bird songs and calls. I now believe Mixpad is easier to learn than driving a Tesla.

My first two segments are about the Song Sparrow and the Red-shouldered Hawk.

In flight the Red-shouldered Hawk may be heard screaming. And there’ll be those white wrist patches. However, they mostly hunt from a perch, watching for possible prey moving along the ground. In urban settings this hawk is a champ[ion rat-catcher. Our western birds are not migratory so if you red-shoulders nearby they should be heard and seen year round as long as their food supply doesn’t dwindle. Any highly toxic rodent poison will kill these birds as well.
The red-shoulder is a fraction smaller than his more common, though quieter cousin, the Red-tailed Hawk. With smaller wings the red-shoulder prefers to perch and watch, not soar with the eagles. The species’ back has a distinct black and white checkered pattern which no other local hawk has.

Here is link to website for Sonoma’s bigger-reaching NPR station, KRCB, 104.9. It is set to re-launch at its new frequency as early as Monday, May 17. The hands-on manager of the station is Chris Lee, former colleague and decades-long friend from my days in the broadcast biz. “my last gig” says he as he ponders real retirement. Chris and his wife, Chris, are long-time Sonoma residents…through hard times, forest fire evacuations, et al.

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