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After 15 minutes creeping about in neighbors' backyards, I discovered that the second part of the song I described before is always preceded by three or four descending very high notes - and that helped me decide that I'm hearing a truly crazed Ruby-crowned Kinglet. I've heard their spring songs before, usually relatively quiet and relatively sporadic, I've never associated this kind of constant sound with kinglets. (The poor guy painting next door hadn't noticed the sound until I clued him in this morning; now he's ready to chop down the trees just to get the bird to stop!)

Thanks for all the thoughtful suggestions!

Maeve Kim
Jericho Center