I should have trusted the process of my suppositions when I heard what I first thought was a mourning dove, then decided was an owl, and finally figured might be a roadrunner. But, no, I went back to the idea it was a mourning dove, though very different from any I’d heard before. But this is Arkansas, I reasoned, so it may be different from the mourning doves we had in Texas. Today, after I spotted a roadrunner in my neighbor’s driveway (and then my wife saw it enter their open garage door, only to be shooed off), my wife heard the “mourning dove.”
“Maybe it’s the roadrunner,” she said.
“No,” I replied, “When I first heard the sound a few days ago, I got to the point that I believed it was a roadrunner, but now I think it’s probably a mourning dove.”
She suggested I check “AllAboutBirds” online. I did. And I listened to the “call/rattle” sound. Bingo! Exactly what we’d both heard. In hindsight, I’m stunned I could have thought it was either an owl or a mourning dove. An ornithologist, I’m not.
A short while later, she called me into the kitchen. “The roadrunner was up in the kitchen window; he just jumped down.”
I went into the garage so I would get a view of the front of the house and the driveway. There he was, a lizard in his beak, just like we’d seen a few weeks earlier.