May 26, 2003, All Things Considered


ROBERT SIEGEL, host: From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

Robert Siegel, host:


Millions of Americans are spending their Memorial Day holiday in the traditional manner: attending parades or cookouts and by now sitting in traffic on the way home from the parade or the cookout. But others occupied their day off with less than traditional activities, everything from recreating a World War II battle to that distinctly unbeachworthy activity, snow skiing. We've called a few people around the country to find out what they are up to today. We'll start in Maine with nature guide and biologist Michael  Good, who spent the today looking for Warblers.  Do I have that right?


Mr. Michael Good (nature guide/biologist): You certainly do Robert. Good to talk to you.


Siegel: And did you find any Warblers, and what is a warbler exactly?


Mr. Good:  Oh we did find Warblers today. We found Tennessee Warblers, Black-throated Green Warblers, Black and whites and Blackburnians. We'er right in the throes of migration, so we have quite an array of birds here now.


Siegel:  Now is the point  that all warblers have in common that they warble?


Mr Good: Well they certainly have many different types of calls, and they sing with trills or they have buzzes and hisses and chips and rollicks and all kinds of different calls. So what I do when I am out in the field with people is try to teach them about the different calls that birds make, what kind of habitat they're in, to give them a little better idea about what life is like here in Maine, but also to take some of that information back with them when they go back whereever they're coming from.


Siegel:  Well for those listeners who are too far from Maine to have taken part in your walk, how about a demonstration of what a warbler might sound like?


Mr. Good:  Well we have Yellow Warblers and they say, "Sweet Sweet Sweet I'm so Sweet". And Chestnut-sided Warblers--they sit up in the top of the trees  and they say, "Please please please to meet you". And then there's my faviorite couple of birds.  The Alder Flycatcher comes up from south america and he says," Free Beer!" The Oliv-sided Flycatcher kind of goes one better, and he says" quick three beers!".


Siegel:  Even the birds in Maine are articulate and they like their beer. Thank you very much.


Mr. Good:  That's right. Take care Robert.  Thank you.


Siegel: That's Michael Good, naturalist in Bar Harbor, Maine............