Photo credits: Dan Lory

Welcome to this first edition of a new regular fixture of the COS blog. We're proud to present the thoughts, insights and pictures of Chicago birder, Dan Lory on birds of the Chicago region. Enjoy!

I always thought roosters went "Cocka-doodle-doo," until I lived in Italy for a while. Then I learned that--besides dressing better than American roosters--Italian roosters go "Chicchirichi!" (pronounced kee-kee-ree-kee). Any Italian rooster foolish enough to say "Cocka-doodle-doo" probably also puts ice in his wine. Then I went to Japan, where everyone knows that roosters go "Kokekokko!" Really. 

Well, I'm sorry folks, but a Northern Bobwhite goes "Bob-white!" End of discussion. Finito! 終り!


I'm the first to admit that the English phonetic representation of birdsongs is often silly and off-kilter, but when it comes to this bird, it's spot on. The bird's call really does sound like "Bob-white!"
If you don't believe me, go down this week to Bartel Grasslands (I-57 and Vollmer Rd), park in the family picnic area, and sit and listen for a while. A male Bobwhite has been hanging out there for about a month now, and chances are good that he'll serenade you, if you're patient enough. You won't need a dictionary—English, Japanese or Italian. You'll understand it when you hear it.

Bobwhite fossils older than 2.5 million years have been found in Florida and Mexico, but habitat destruction is causing a sharp drop in their numbers. Listen for their call now while you still can.

The photos are of the Bartel Grasslands Northern Bobwhite.