Date: 2/16/17 8:24 pm From: Jared Del Rosso <jared.delrosso...> Subject: [cobirds] Catbird Correction & Merlin (Taiga)(?) - west Arapahoe Co.
The Gray Catbird that I reported at Marjorie Perry Nature Preserve a few days ago, which I heard singing in brush, was no such thing. It was, instead, a Song Sparrow singing its sub-song. Thank you to Nathan Pieplow for explaining that to me. Nathan was kind enough to direct me to examples of the rather impressive sub-song, which can be found here: http://www.xeno-canto.org/species/Melospiza-melodia?query=type%3Asubsong.
While trying to figure this out, I exchanged emails with a few other birders. I appreciate the help from everyone! That the bird was a Song Sparrow was particularly delightful. During the emails about this "catbird," I mentioned to another birder how I'd spent far too much time, two or three springs ago, trying to identify a very familiar song at Chatfield. After five or ten minutes of standing and listening, Song Sparrow finally occurred to me. This one only took four days to work out!
I'm fairly certain that this bird, perched atop the transmission towers near deKoevend Park in west Centennial, is neither a Song Sparrow nor a Catbird. I believe it is a Taiga Merlin, but let me know if that too is wrong. My dog and I encountered this bird on Tuesday, while driving home from Marj Perry, where we'd not relocated the catbird for obvious reasons. We stopped and looked at it from the street beneath the transmission tower. This is the same general area where a Merlin chased a Hairy Woodpecker in November. And it's not far from my home, which a Prairie Merlin briefly visited on Christmas.