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Sparrow? Song ID only


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#1 Dragonflyspit

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 05:01 PM

The song is only 2 long, pensive notes, whistled. Each is held about 4 seconds. The second is lower than the first. There is a very short break
between them. It is easily imitated by whistling.

The 1st note is identical to that of the Harris's sparrow, but held longer & not repeated. It's also much like the 2nd example of the golden-crowned sparrow's song In the Stoke's audio guide except it's only 2 notes, not 3, & they are each held longer. I'd be tempted to think it a dialect of one or the other of those two sparrows except neither is supposed to summer here, & I'm pretty sure I've heard it throughout previous breeding seasons. It's only just begun in the last couple of weeks.

Eugene, OR. Heard in backyard, camping, etc. Lots of redwoods, firs, & fruit trees. Song is very common, seems to come from 30 feet or more up, & bird is never seen.

#2 Limpkin

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 05:16 PM

This probably isn't going to be it, but since you said it was pretty common and heard in the backyard, I was wondering - could it be the "Heeeey, Sweeetie" song of the Black-capped Chickadee? I know you said that it was two notes, but Chickadees will get "lazy" and slur their calls a bit. The first note is exactly the same as the Harris's Sparrow's, though.

Here are several songs to pick through (try the ones that have a description of "Song" instead of "Call"):

http://www.xeno-cant...=0&pagenumber=1

#3 Dragonflyspit

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 08:47 PM

Thank you for taking a stab at it. Unfortunately, I can't listen to that content w/ my mobile device, which is my only internet, but I'm familiar w/ chickadee songs & this doesn't sound anything like any I've heard.

It's a clear, whistled note- no hint of a trill, warble, or the buzzy quality of the chickadee songs I've heard. It's identical in pitch & tone to Harris's sparrow, but its just the two notes. It also resembles the second example of the white-crowned sparrow in the Stoke's audio guide, but its just two notes, held longer, & not repeated. It never varies- with the possible exception of sometimes being just the one note, & it invariably comes from above- never from bushes or eye-level.

I would suspect a dialect of the white-crowned or Harris's except neither is supposed to be here. I suppose it's possible I'm hearing them during their spring & fall migrations, but it will be a few months before I know that.

I haven't been able to record the song, but I might be able to upload my impression of it. Don't hold your breath though.

#4 Dragonflyspit

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 08:48 PM

Thank you for taking a stab at it. Unfortunately, I can't listen to that content w/ my mobile device, which is my only internet, but I'm familiar w/ chickadee songs & this doesn't sound anything like any I've heard.

It's a clear, whistled note- no hint of a trill, warble, or the buzzy quality of the chickadee songs I've heard. It's identical in pitch & tone to Harris's sparrow, but its just the two notes. It also resembles the second example of the white-crowned sparrow in the Stoke's audio guide, but its just two notes, held longer, & not repeated. It never varies- with the possible exception of sometimes being just the one note, & it invariably comes from above- never from bushes or eye-level.

I would suspect a dialect of the white-crowned or Harris's except neither is supposed to be here. I suppose it's possible I'm hearing them during their spring & fall migrations, but it will be a few months before I know that.

I haven't been able to record the song, but I might be able to upload my impression of it. Don't hold your breath though.

#5 Cavan Wood

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 09:17 PM

The spring call of a chickadee is two clear whistled pitches. The second lower pitch is usually broken into two syllables, but as limpkin noted, sometimes it's only one syllable. I'm not saying that's what it is, but it is worth listening to because, black-capped chickadee was my first thought too, and the spring call does not sound anything like the typical chickadee-dee-dee call that we most usually associate with a black-capped chickadee.
Scott

#6 Dragonflyspit

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 11:17 PM

Found another copy of bc chick's song (mine damaged) but I'm sure that's not it. It would have to be a very different dialect. Chick's song is too high, & too fast by 100% or more. Sounds less like it than Harris's sparrow, but I was mistaken- even Harris's sparrow is a bit too high. More like 1st note of white-capped sparrow, then almost a second's pause before lower note. Each note is held at least twice as long as bc chickadee's notes.

#7 Dragonflyspit

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 05:34 AM

I don't know if this will work or help, but this is a recording of me whistling the song. The bird's song is prettier, but otherwise it's pretty accurate.

http://smg.photobuck...t=VIDEO0015.mp4



#8 Cavan Wood

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 03:20 PM

Okay, definitely not a chickadee. I'm not sure what it is, but you should mention the location to narrow it down.
Scott

#9 Limpkin

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 03:58 PM

He did, Scott - Eugene, Oregon.

#10 Cavan Wood

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 03:01 AM

Oops, yep. There it is.
Scott

#11 ceylon

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 07:53 AM

Maybe Say's Phoebe (a little fast?), Red-naped Sapsucker(mew), White-throated Sparrow. Or maybe not.

My "best" lifers; Golden Eagle and Crested Mynah.

New birds 2013; Red Flanked Bluetail (Queen's Park, New Westminster Jan 15, 2013), Gyrfalcon (Hastings Park/Viterra building near Second Narrows, Jan 26, 2013), Brambling (Laurel/17th Feb 5th/2013), Red-naped Sapsucker (west side of Fraserview golf course, in lane by 7878 Vivian, Apr 5/2013). Sora (pond at Colony Farm April 8/13). Northern Rough-winged Swallow (Col Farm May 26/13). Lazuli Bunting and WETA May 2013 Col Farm).



New birds 2012; Black throated gray warbler, Cassin's vireo, (Hammond's Flycatcher,Chipping Sparrow were id'd at bird banding station), Vaux Swift, Cliff Swallow, Dowitcher, Merlin, Peregrine, Eastern Kingbird, Spotted Sandpiper, YHBB, Caspian Tern, Purple Martin, Warbling Vireo, Western Tanager.


#12 Dragonflyspit

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 01:38 AM

Don't know what happened to my last post. Lousy cell phone internet connection!

My Stoke's audio guide doesn't have a WTS song, but maybe if there is a two-syllabled dialect of that song it might be it. The pitch is right- it's just singing "Oooooh, Cannnn," instead of singing all 15 syllables. Have never seen any reference to this in the literature, but that seems the best hypothesis. It I ever get a look at the annoying little cuss, or get a recording of it, I will let you know.

#13 PoorMatty

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 03:52 AM

There is a bit of a hazy, buzzy quality to the song which you say your bird doesn't have, but after listening to your recording, my mind is immediately leaping to Varied Thrush.

#14 Dragonflyspit

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 12:01 AM

THAT'S IT. Thank you! My Stoke's guide has both a buzzy or slightly trilled song like you describe, and a clear whistle like what I'm hearing. Furthermore, I made notes in my field guide last year that I was seeing them.

Great ID! Thank you so much. :-)




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