Thursday, June 9, 2011

Spring 77: Finch Flock

6:30am-7:15am, University of Dayton, Dayton, OH
swirling clouds on eastern horizon, comfortable temp

All afternoon yesterday I was distracted by a finch outside the ArtStreet arts complex where we are housed. Today I am determined to record him.

At a bit past dawn he doesn't seem to be singing yet, so I take a meandering walk around campus.

Besides the swallows and the sparrows, it's relatively quiet- perhaps because the sun is obscured by some hazy clouds? I enjoy watching pairs and groups of the swallows soar overhead, in ever-widening circles.

I am so grateful that the sun rises much later here than in Boston. Perhaps I can get back into my dawn routine!

Upon my return to ArtStreet, I find that it's not just one finch at work, but a whole group of them - at least two males and 3-4 females. The males have colorful red heads. The more drab females seem to be busy saying, "Huh?"

I witness some chasing and springtime grappling, and wonder which of these males rules the roost..

Here, the answer:

At home, with the help of Cornell Labs, I conclude that these are house finches, not purple finches as I had thought yesterday.

I also sketch out some recent ideas for simulating movement and flight of birds with sound. Would a stationary "matrix" of musicians work, much as a line of lights timed right can create the illusion of movement? Or should I invest in some jumping stilts, a great invention I saw at FIGMENT?


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