The key to finding the bird was, of all things, patience. Gretchen and I had missed on the bird the other night because we just didn't wait around long enough, I think. This time, I went to the tree where the bird had been seen and just stood and sat around, listening to the millions of Gray Catbirds and Red-winged Blackbirds. After about 30 minutes, just when I was just about to give up (isn't that always when the good stuff happens?), I heard the craziest sound: a single-noted call, but not a single note; it was more like several notes in harmony, a chord, almost a twanging sound. This was nothing like any other bird I'd heard before. I first thought it was a catbird showing off, but I kept hearing it, and that's when I saw the unmistakeable flash of deep yellow. First, he was skulky, giving me only little glances:
Can I help you?!
but then he did what Gretchen had told me he would do: he picked a spot and sang from it, although only ever the one note, the twang.
It sounded NOTHING like the call on my Stokes CDs.