Date: 6/10/18 5:00 pm From: Gregory Hanisek via CTBirds <ctbirds...> Subject: Re: [CT Birds] Listener beware. A Southington Cerulean turned into a Black-throated Blue
This is a good discussion, and covers an area that especially interests me. First I would say that the issue doesn't have to be cut so fine - B-t Blue and Cerulean can sound very much alike - period. I learned that back in my World Series of Birding days in NJ, when recordings of specific song types of a given species were pretty much unavailable and unknown. One of my team members, one of the best ear birders I've ever met, and I had some good arguments until we straightened things out. I always cringe a little bit when newer birders are IDing species with which they're not very familiar - saying, "It sounded exactly like xyz recording." I've led 2 field trips over the past week to Mohawk Mt., a great place to find and listen to a nice array of breeding warblers. I would say that most species that we heard multiple times seldom sounded "exactly" alike. Warblers throw in enough variation before "song types" even come into play. That's why I think it's maybe a bit of wishful thinking that you're going to winnow things down to song types on a consistent basis.
These 2 birds occur in very different habitats, and when their habitats abut, where they might at a place like River Road in Kent, they occupy different niches. So a big part of IDing a bird by song is knowing when and where a song you think you recognize is out of place - either by habitat or by season. We always like to get a eye on every bird we hear, but it's not going to happen. So you want to make the extra effort to see a bird when you realize you're in the wrong place or at the wrong time. Jack reacted that way, which was good birding.
So bottom line - keeping going out and listening. Hearing and seeing a lot of known-ID birds is the best way to learn - far superior to tapes in more or less of a vacuum. And please, if you hear an E Wood-Pewee in March, remember Starings can do a spot-on imitation:)
Greg Hanisek Waterbury
On Sun, Jun 10, 2018 at 7:26 PM, Hugh Whelan via CTBirds < <ctbirds...> wrote:
> Hi Jack, > Thank you for your post. In full disclosure before I ask my questions I > should note: (1) I recorded a "Cerulean A3 song" along Hurricane Brook Road > north of East Hartland (far north CT) today but did not see the bird (and > it is an "unrecorded" species there); (2) I also recorded Black Throated > Blue Warbler songs there; and (3) I am a relatively new birder in my first > year and generally defer to the wisdom of those most experienced. > > So my questions: > (1) Did you actually see the BTBW sing the Cerulean A3 song and record it > (i.e., did you record a sonogram and compare)? Or did you find a BTBW soon > after hearing the Cerulean A3 song in a place where there are alos BTBW? > (2) I am curious if you think The Warbler Guide is wrong? The app lists > similar songs to the Cerulean A3 song, but none sound very similar to the > A3 song (it only lists Northern Parula Type B1 and Blackburnian Type A)? > (3) Have you contacted Tom Stephenson and Scott Whittle to tell them you > think a BTBW sings an exact copy of the CERW A3 song? > > I am just trying to learn and minimize my ID mistakes. > > Kind regards, > Hugh Whelan > > On Sun, Jun 10, 2018 at 3:29 PM Jack Swatt via CTBirds < > <ctbirds...> wrote: > > > To add to Aaron Dollar's post about the King Rail/Clapper Rail mimicry, > > this past week I was doing some altasing at the ridge line on top of > > Compounce Mt in Southington, a place I regularly get Worm-eating > Warblers, > > Prairie Warblers and occasional Hoodeds. I heard a Cerulean song and was > > hopeful to add this species to the census. The song is one that is > > frequently sung by Black-throated Blue Warblers up north (Cerulean A3 > song > > in The Warbler Guide) so I tracked it down and sure enough, it was a > > Black-throated Blue singing it. I'll still take a BTBlue in Southington > as > > this seems outside it's normal range, but it serves as added warning > about > > identification by song alone. Sometimes you have to see the bird to get > a > > correct ID. > > Jack Swatt > > Wolcott > > _______________________________________________ > > This list is provided by the Connecticut Ornithological Association (COA) > > for the discussion of birds and birding in Connecticut. > > For subscription information visit > > http://lists.ctbirding.org/mailman/listinfo/ctbirds_lists.ctbirding.org > > > -- > Hugh Whelan > C: 860-480-4640 > _______________________________________________ > This list is provided by the Connecticut Ornithological Association (COA) > for the discussion of birds and birding in Connecticut. > For subscription information visit http://lists.ctbirding.org/ > mailman/listinfo/ctbirds_lists.ctbirding.org > _______________________________________________ This list is provided by the Connecticut Ornithological Association (COA) for the discussion of birds and birding in Connecticut. For subscription information visit http://lists.ctbirding.org/mailman/listinfo/ctbirds_lists.ctbirding.org