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Rain Crows


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#1 DesertHawk

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Posted 03 June 2009 - 04:13 PM

huh.gif Have you ever heard of a Rain Crow? My parents talked about them and had a lot of faith in them predicting rain. The claim was that the bird would call before a rain, thus their name. I do not remember hearing them when I lived down in South Texas. I was goggled "rain crow" trying to find out about them and it appears this is the bird which was given the name. Did any of you guys know about them or did you ever hear one call? If you check the link out below, one can hear what one source said was a Rain Crow. Do they sound like this bird, a Yellow-billed Cuckoo?

I realize it is not really a camping question, but one might hear one while camping. I'd love to hear one out camping some time.

http://www.allaboutb...illed_Cuckoo/id




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#2 Don in OKC

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Posted 03 June 2009 - 04:30 PM

Deserthawk:

I don't know about 'rain crow', but thanks for the link.

When I clicked on the 'sound' button, my dog went nuts. I think we've found a new toy. biggrin.gif

Edited by Don in OKC, 03 June 2009 - 04:30 PM.

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#3 Us burros

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Posted 03 June 2009 - 05:01 PM

The Rain Crow is indeed the Yellow-billed Cuckoo, but I've never put much stock in their rain predicting ability.

About six years ago I was walking on our "back forty" with my old camera in hand and heard one calling. I stopped and looked long and hard, finally spotting what I thought was the bird calling. I snapped a picture from a very long distance and trimmed it up so I could at least prove that I had actually seen a Yellow-billed Cuckoo.
P5260006.JPG

I don't remember ever hearing one while camping, but we do enjoy hearing the Chuck-will's-widow and occasionally a Whip-o-will. Recently, while we are able to sleep with windows open here at home, the Chuck-will's widow just outside our window has awakened us in the wee hours of the night.

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#4 harveyMT

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Posted 03 June 2009 - 06:13 PM

As a child growing up in rural West Virginia, I sometimes heard this bird, and my dad would say that it was a rain crow. I don't think I ever saw one. I mistakingly assumed that it was some sort of dove. I often heard and rarely saw a whip-or-will. Later, when I spent time in Georgia, I sometimes heard a whip-or-will cousin, the Chuck wills widow. Sweet memories!
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#5 Art Davis

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Posted 03 June 2009 - 06:31 PM

When I was a kid back in, say, the 1950's and 60's, a rain crow's call seemed (In Louisiana) to be identified with the whippoorwill. "Whip-Poor-Will."

But I don't have an exact referecne to give you. I'll be interested in the outcome of this question.

Art


#6 brain

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Posted 03 June 2009 - 06:37 PM

We have Chuck wills widows outside our property and will be hearing them tonight with the windows open!

#7 DesertHawk

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Posted 03 June 2009 - 07:02 PM

Harold, good job in spotting & also getting a photo excl.gif from what I have read, they are hard to find.

smile.gif More info on the Yellow-billed Cuckoo.
http://texasnature.b...rain-crows.html
http://www.backyardn...n/03/030720.htm
Black-billed Cuckoos might be called Rain Crows as well. They sound very much like the Yellow-billed.
http://www.allaboutb...illed_Cuckoo/id

Speaking of Cuckoos, we have another one running around in our part of the world. Ones which are often seen.
http://www.desertusa.../papr/road.html

On this map, we should have Yellow-billed Cuckoos in our part of New Mexico as well.
http://identify.what...led_Cuckoo.aspx

Edit add: I emailed some friends about the rain crow, one replyed by saying, Yes, I grew up hearing the rain crow when it rained in southeastern Oklahoma, but we were told it was a frog, and I always wondered why a frog was called a crow. Maybe it wasn't a frog after all. - Betty

Edited by DesertHawk, 03 June 2009 - 10:10 PM.


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#8 G&S

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Posted 04 June 2009 - 06:32 AM

this bird is fairly common but not often seen. The tail is a distinguishing field mark and helps separate it form the black bill. My wife and I are birders and have named our Casita the "Birders Nest".

#9 Eggalitarian

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Posted 04 June 2009 - 08:46 AM

QUOTE (harveyMT @ Jun 3 2009, 09:13 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
As a child growing up in rural West Virginia, I sometimes heard this bird, and my dad would say that it was a rain crow. I don't think I ever saw one. I mistakingly assumed that it was some sort of dove.


Harvey,
I, too, experienced many instances of the Mourning Dove being called the "Rain Crow" even with the Yellow-Billed Cuckoo in the area. After all, the Mourning Dove does a better "Coo-Coo" sound which seems to be a hundred yards away, but the Dove can actually be in a tree beside you!


#10 pseabolt

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Posted 04 June 2009 - 05:33 PM

On my first visit to Cades Cove, with my young bride more years ago than I want to count, a big read head wood pecker flew by giving it call. Maybe we did not see the bird I can't remember but the the ranger guide asked if anyone knew the bird. I told the ranger is was a rain crow that call before a rain. The ranger said she had never heard it call that and probable gave the scientific but what I remember for sure is everyone got soaked before we could get back to the car.

The Plieated WoodPecker is the bird we call a rain crow when I was growing up. It about the size of a crow and sounds a little like a crow. They call as the fly and the call sound more like a crow when flying than the YouTub video.



Here is the call

http://pelotes.jea.c...ds/woodpeck.htm

Edited by pseabolt, 04 June 2009 - 05:56 PM.

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#11 tagreen

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Posted 04 June 2009 - 07:21 PM

Deserthawk, I have been blessed to have heard and seen this bird my entire life and it is the bird that my parents called a"rain crow". I wouldn't plan a picnic on his predictions however.LOL Tagreen

#12 Us burros

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Posted 04 June 2009 - 08:09 PM

What an education for me this thread has been. I have never heard any of the woodpeckers, nor the dove, referred to as rain crow.

HERE's another good site for identify not only birds but a lot more.

Harold

#13 ArizonaEileen

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Posted 04 June 2009 - 10:52 PM

No bird's call makes me smile more than a Northern Mockingbird. If you're ever visiting the desert SW and have heard one, you know why.

First of all, they sound so darned cheerful. Second, they have singing pattern that is incredibly varied -- a series of (usually) three chirps that changes to three different chirps that changes to three different chirps, and so on -- no set of chirps is the same. Also, you can always find them perching atop the highest treetop, streetlight, cactus or whatever. They tend to be noctural.

The LISTEN button at eNature.com will give you an idea of how they sound, but it only provides a sample of their repertoire.

Thanks for the eNature link, USBurros. I was told once long ago that this bird was some type of Mockingbird; now I'm able to confirm it.

Eileen

Edited by ArizonaEileen, 05 June 2009 - 08:08 AM.

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#14 The Goose Egg

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Posted 05 June 2009 - 04:54 AM

I love to hear the mocking birds too.
Yesterday, I had to rescue one from my blueberry bush.
I had covered them with some netting to keep them from being picked bare.
The netting didn't go all the way to the ground, and my little mocking bird friend figured out how to go underneath the bush and then hop his way up the branches to the berries up above.
I had watched them do this the day before, and decided to go out to scare them away.
When I opened the back door, the bird tried to fly up instead of going down to get out.
I closed the door and watched from the window, thinking it would calm down and figure out how to get back out.
It didn't, so I had to go undo the netting to let it out.
They are kinda protective when it comes to keeping people at a distance from there nest, so I was a little scared. I've been dived at before while riding our lawn mower.
It got out and flew into a nearby tree, fussing like it does when its protecting its nest.
Then it flew away. I saw it or another one later eating some crackers, I had threw out.

I heard either a rain crow or something the other day after it quit raining.
I thought it was a frog.
I had never heard of a rain crow till you posted about it here.
Thanks for the education.

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#15 Us burros

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Posted 05 June 2009 - 06:07 AM

QUOTE (The Goose Egg @ Jun 5 2009, 04:54 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I love to hear the mocking birds too.
Yesterday, I had to rescue one from my blueberry bush.
I had covered them with some netting to keep them from being picked bare.
The netting didn't go all the way to the ground, and my little mocking bird friend figured out how to go underneath the bush and then hop his way up the branches to the berries up above.
I had watched them do this the day before, and decided to go out to scare them away.
When I opened the back door, the bird tried to fly up instead of going down to get out.
I closed the door and watched from the window, thinking it would calm down and figure out how to get back out.
It didn't, so I had to go undo the netting to let it out.
They are kinda protective when it comes to keeping people at a distance from there nest, so I was a little scared. I've been dived at before while riding our lawn mower.
It got out and flew into a nearby tree, fussing like it does when its protecting its nest.
Then it flew away. I saw it or another one later eating some crackers, I had threw out.

I heard either a rain crow or something the other day after it quit raining.
I thought it was a frog.
I had never heard of a rain crow till you posted about it here.
Thanks for the education.


You may have acquired a friend for life, unless that Mockingbird holds a grudge for the netting being put there. - Extraordinary Mockingbird behavior

And for Eileen, this picture taken at Picacho Peak (AZ) State Park:

2005_April_in_Arizona_by_H_J__337_.JPG April '05

It sang most of the night.

Harold