You’d think living in the bush would be a quiet sort of life, but one of the things that strikes you most when you come to the Top End is the endless variety of bizarre noises, especially at night. Some of them are quite soothing, while others seem designed to set your teeth on edge.

For example, and allow me to anthropomorphize for a second, the male brush-cuckoo’s call has to be one of the worst. He arrived at the beginning of the wet season then for weeks on end he let out the same repetitive whistle every few minutes, on and on he went until it seemed either he must go mad with desperation or I would go mad with dispare.

Then finally a female! fantastic, at last his search was over and harmony would reign in the bush. Not so fast. The female has a call like a deranged football referee. Just as her suitor’s about halfway through his own frantic repertoire she interrupts him with a shrill, whistling demand that cuts him off mid call. It’s pretty clear who wears the pants in this relationship.

Does it really do it for him, or is he just beaten into submission by her scolding? Listen and decide for yourself…ah, scrap that, just discovered you have to buy the WordPress upgrade to add audio. Well if you really want to hear these calls and loads of others then get in touch…

Now the spangled drongo I could listen to all day.

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