Don't forget that even your ears aren't what they used to be! But the
variations in songs among individuals of the same species (and indeed of
the same individual) are pretty scary from the point of view of safely
identifying the singer. Liz mentions three well-known culprits
(Chestnut-sided, Yellow, and American Redstart) and intimates a fourth
(Yellow-rumped). I would add Magnolia to the list - a multiple songster
whose repertoire can overlap that of the American Redstart.
poor puzzled Pipit
On 6/18/2018 7:49 AM, Alison Wagner wrote:
> Thanks, Liz! I have heard Red-eyeds do a convincing Acadian Flycatcher
> snippet, and a Purple Finch imitate a Phoebe perfectly. The key
> sometimes to figuring them out is when the "counterfeit song" is heard
> repeatedly in the exact same part of the singers rendition!
> Bird is the word.
> -----Original Message----- From: Liz Lackey
> Sent: Monday, June 18, 2018 7:33 AM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [VTBIRD] Unusual singer!
> Ali et al,
> The more I bird, the more “interesting” calls I hear. A week ago on
> Mt Mansfield, the Stowe Area Birders group heard a 2 part buzz song
> having 2 different pitches. Luckily we could see the Junco singing as
> we never would have believed it otherwise. I’ve had Yellow-rumped
> warblers give a textbook rendition of a Nashville Warbler. I’ve
> watched a male Redstart sing 4 completely different songs, going thru
> its repertoire over and over. Same with Yellow warblers and
> Chestnut-sideds. I’ve seen the male of each sing a different song
> everytime it opened it’s mouth, running thru it’s repertoire of 2-4
> songs. Talk about confusing Fall warblers. How about confusing songs
> of warblers.
> Has this song variation always been the case and we are just more
> aware of it as the collective hours we spend in observation
> increases? Is it something new going on in the birds? One can never
> see presented in a guide book all the possible plumage variations for
> a given bird. Maybe we should realize this is the case with their
> songs as well.
> Regardless, my ears really perk up when I hear an unusual song, a
> partial song, or a “geez, that sounds familiar but what is it”, song.
> I never assume now who the originator will be, and it always gives me
> a reason to get a glimpse of the bird and solve another “mystery”, (or
> get confused even more).
> Keep your eyes and ears tuned up, and let’s wonder at this new
> generation of fledgling birds having to learn their future adult
> songs. Let’s hope they can keep it all straight!
> Stowe, VT
>> On Jun 18, 2018, at 7:05 AM, Alison Wagner <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> Good Morning!
>> The alarm went off around 5:15 this morning, only I did not set one.
>> What I was hearing was similar to a radio alarm I had back in the
>> twentieth century. Whoever it was, it had my full attention, so I
>> immediately recorded it and then sought it out. I live in the woods,
>> in the foothills on the western slope of the Green Mountains.
>> Totally wrong habitat for a Clay-colored Sparrow, which I’d say it
>> “sounded like” (but wrong note, cadence, etc.) if I had to describe
>> it to someone. Easily, I located him on a pine branch, a summer
>> resident here for sure....Gray above, light underside, pink bill,
>> cheerleader skirt (white outer feathers on an otherwise gray tail). A
>> junco with a sore throat? Watching him tilt his head while
>> simultaneously hearing the buzzes left no doubt. I wondered if he
>> has had any luck attracting a female. Sure got my attention...nice