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June 2005


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"Gregory R. Askew" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Vermont Birds <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 10 Jun 2005 17:22:11 -0400
text/plain (66 lines)
Walter et al.
As I mentioned in my initial email, I missed some of the more obvious field
marks (i.e. yellow or black beak, tail markings) but I did immediately notice
some masking behind the eye.

Quoting Walter Ellison <[log in to unmask]>:

> Hi Tom & Greg (and other interested parties),
> If you are asking whether a Black-billed Cuckoo can give an accelerating
> clatter-call similar to a Yellow-billed the answer is yes. The
> Black-billed's clatter-call is faster and more liquid sounding than the
> wooden-block clatter of a Yellow-billed but it is also very similar. The
> individual notes of the Yellow-billed's clatter are more discrete and sound
> more hollow, the clatter at the end is also much less musical than the
> Black-billed's and thus more gutteral. The coo calls are quite different and
> are well-recorded on standard bird song source-recordings. Black-bills give
> the familiar rapid triplets "cu-cu-cu" whereas Yellow-billeds give a slow,
> well-separated series of low moaning "coou" notes. Also check out "Flight
> Calls of Migratory Birds" (by William R. Evans and Michael O'Brien,
> available from www.oldbird.org) for cuckoo flight calls (often given by
> nocturnal migrants). If you are already aware of the vocal similarities and
> differences I discuss I hope others on VTBird might be able to use my
> comments.
> Any hybrid should show intermediate plumage between its parent species. If
> your bird looks pretty much like a Black-billed Cuckoo, I'd wager it is a
> Black-billed.
> Good Birding,
> Walter Ellison
> MD-DC Atlas Coordinator - MOS
> 23460 Clarissa Road
> Chestertown, MD 21620
> phone: 410-778-9568
> e-mail: [log in to unmask]
> "A person who is looking for something doesn't travel very fast" - E. B.
> White (in "Stuart Little")
> "Are there *ever* enough birds?" - Connie Hagar as quoted by Edwin Way Teale
> in "Wandering through Winter"
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Friday, June 10, 2005 11:31 AM
> Subject: Re: [VTBIRD]
> > Did a brief Google and found an alleged hybrid written up in The Wilson
> Quarterly a quarter century ago. ID was done from a skin so the burning
> question Greg and I are faced with - can a bird with largely Black-billed
> field marks sing the song of a Yellow-billed?
> >
> > Tom Barber