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ID call: sounds like referee's whistle


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#1 newinpdx

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Posted 05 March 2007 - 12:17 PM

I am new to the northwest, and heard a call today that I have not heard in the year that we've been here. It was a 2 second, sllightly shrill whistle - constant pitch. Very loud - I estimate I was 200 yards from where the calls originated. It sounded like a referee's whistle. There were two different pitches of the same call, coming from different areas of the woods, so I assume two of the same bird. We live in old growth forest in the west hills of Portland - doug fir, etc. I could not see the birds. The call repeated every 30-60 seconds, and the birds were in the area for at least an hour, but moving through the canopy slowly.

Any ideas?

Thanks

Jason


#2 jbissell

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Posted 05 March 2007 - 12:30 PM

Im guessing Brown Creeper or perhaps Cedar Waxwing.



#3 newinpdx

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Posted 05 March 2007 - 12:39 PM

Thanks - yes, sounds a bit like the Brown Creeper, but each call was a single whistle, lasted 2-3 times longer, and the interval between calls was much longer. Each call was separated by a minute or maybe more. I went back to listen to the Waxwing - this was unlike the sample call (if that it representative.) 

#4 tim.birdboy

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Posted 05 March 2007 - 04:12 PM

Perhaps it was a European Starling?? They come up with the craziest combinations of whistles, notes, etc. I have even heard them sing octaves! They also are excellent mimics, around here they mimic the calls of Killdeers and Black-capped Chickadees.

 I hope this helps,

 Tim H.
 



#5 Cataclysmic Beefstick

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Posted 07 March 2007 - 08:25 AM

VARIED THRUSH: http://identify.what...ied_Thrush.aspx

 Listen to the sound on that page.
 



#6 newinpdx

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Posted 07 March 2007 - 09:49 PM

Cataclysmic - 

I think we have a winner! That sounds right, though I would have to disagree with the text description of the call - it's definitely not "soft". I can hear them anywhere in the area - this call travels. I am hearing them almost every day, so I'll park outside when I hear them again on a nice day. Maybe I could use my emergency whistle to bring them in.

Thanks for the answer.


#7 newinpdx

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Posted 07 March 2007 - 10:06 PM

Of course when I take my Sibley Field Guide to Birds of West North America off the shelf - it's a Varied Thrush on the cover and the back. And there is the right call description as well.

So while you can't tell a book by its cover, you can tell a bird by a book's cover.

Jason



#8 Cataclysmic Beefstick

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Posted 07 March 2007 - 10:36 PM

You are welcome.  I actually have used a varied thrush soundbyte in one of my ranger programs when talking about Pacific Northwest forests.  It is the only animal in my slide show that I talk about by its sound, never showing a picture.  It also makes a prominent appearance in one of Glacier National Park's eHikes, the Trail of the Cedars "Power Hike", which you can access from the bottom of this page: http://www.nps.gov/g...edia/ehikes.htm The varied thrush is on slide 6. Posted Image



#9 derbeck

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Posted 16 January 2008 - 12:15 PM

Yesterday I had a Varied Thrush visit our home several miles East of Marysville, Washington.  It was on the ground of our patio.  It looks just like your picture, which is a little different from the main picture on this web site.  It is black, grey and gold, not orange as on the site picture.  The colors are bright, the beak is black and they legs yellow.  It did not sing for me.  I enjoyed seeing your national park tour description of the bird.




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