In late July, we're mostly hearing the recently fledged sons as they practice to reach perfection. As such, most of the bird songs we're hearing now might be a bit raspy and hesitant — not the smooth, mellifluous tunes we heard from the adults last spring.
The "drink your TEA" song of adult towhees, for instance, now might sound more like "drink your" from the voices of young birds. The young towhees and other first-year songbirds — bluebirds, cardinals, chickadees and robins — may practice for hours on end for weeks in a row until they can sing like their fathers.
Some birds, like the indigo bunting that nests across Georgia, will learn only one or two songs. Others, such as the mockingbird and the catbird, may learn dozens of tunes. But the champion singer, the brown thrasher — Georgia's state bird — may acquire as many as 2,000 songs during its lifetime.
In the sky: The moon will be first quarter July 26, rising out of the east around lunchtime and setting in the west around midnight, said David Dundee, Tellus Science Museum astronomer. Venus and Jupiter are low in the east just before sunrise. Mars is high in the west just after dark and sets in the west before midnight. It will appear near the moon Tuesday night. Saturn is high in the south at dark and sets in the west around midnight. It will appear near the moon Wednesday night.