Date: 4/6/18 5:19 am
From: Ryan Wirtes via CTBirds <ctbirds...>
Subject: Re: [CT Birds] Early or too early?
On that note, I have a male Purple Finch in my yard that is mixing quite a few elements from other bird songs into his song. On March 8th, I thought I heard an Eastern Phoebe. As I listened closer, I realized that the phoebe's song was being mixed into quite an amazing composition by this Purple Finch. I identified the following elements in his song: 3 types of Tufted Titmouse songs/calls, a Veery's "veer", elements from a Northern Cardinal, American Robin, the "towhee" of a Towhee, and parts of a Song Sparrows song. These elements along with the Phoebe's song were all wrapped into the more typical warbling of the Purple Finch. I was clearing my roof of snow at the time and stood there, on top of a ladder, in amazement for about 5 minutes listening to this amazing song! I know that there are some records of this type of vocal copying by male Purple Finches, but I would assume that this is somewhat rare, correct? If this is the same finch from last year, then he should be sticking around my area to breed.

Ryan Wirtes
Bethlehem

On Thu, Apr 5, 2018, at 8:57 PM, Gregory Hanisek via CTBirds wrote:
> We've reach the point in the season (despite some unseasonal weather) where
> increased bird song and eagerness to see the season progress results in
> reports of heard-only birds that should not be in CT at this date. Some
> commonly mis-heard species include Willow Flycatcher (not expected until
> more than a week into May); Eastern Wood-Pewee (an even later arrival); and
> Yellow Warbler (usually late April). There are plenty of other candidates.
>
> If anyone thinks they've heard one of these, make every effort to see the
> bird. Don't rely on what seems to be a "perfect" call or song. Starlings
> can and do make near-perfect Pewee whistles. Phoebes can produce
> Willow-like sounds. The highly variable songs of American Goldfinch can
> produce Yellow Warbler-like phrases (as well as a glimpse of a yellow
> bird). Of course N Mockingbirds can't be forgotten, and every year I hear
> some kind of Tufted Titmouse sound I'm sure I never heard before
>
> A look at current maps in eBird shows that no Yellow Warblers have been
> reported to date north of northern Florida. Willow Flycatchers are even
> farther south.
>
> Be careful out there.
>
> Greg Hanisek
> Waterbury
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