Date: 6/18/18 4:49 am
From: Alison Wagner <alikatofvt...>
Subject: Re: [VTBIRD] Unusual singer!
Thanks, Liz! I have heard Red-eyeds do a convincing Acadian Flycatcher
snippet, and a Purple Finch imitate a Phoebe perfectly. The key sometimes
to figuring them out is when the "counterfeit song" is heard repeatedly in
the exact same part of the singers rendition!

Bird is the word.


-----Original Message-----
From: Liz Lackey
Sent: Monday, June 18, 2018 7:33 AM
To: <VTBIRD...>
Subject: Re: [VTBIRD] Unusual singer!

Ali et al,

The more I bird, the more “interesting” calls I hear. A week ago on Mt
Mansfield, the Stowe Area Birders group heard a 2 part buzz song having 2
different pitches. Luckily we could see the Junco singing as we never would
have believed it otherwise. I’ve had Yellow-rumped warblers give a textbook
rendition of a Nashville Warbler. I’ve watched a male Redstart sing 4
completely different songs, going thru its repertoire over and over. Same
with Yellow warblers and Chestnut-sideds. I’ve seen the male of each sing a
different song everytime it opened it’s mouth, running thru it’s repertoire
of 2-4 songs. Talk about confusing Fall warblers. How about confusing
songs of warblers.

Has this song variation always been the case and we are just more aware of
it as the collective hours we spend in observation increases? Is it
something new going on in the birds? One can never see presented in a guide
book all the possible plumage variations for a given bird. Maybe we should
realize this is the case with their songs as well.

Regardless, my ears really perk up when I hear an unusual song, a partial
song, or a “geez, that sounds familiar but what is it”, song. I never
assume now who the originator will be, and it always gives me a reason to
get a glimpse of the bird and solve another “mystery”, (or get confused even

Keep your eyes and ears tuned up, and let’s wonder at this new generation of
fledgling birds having to learn their future adult songs. Let’s hope they
can keep it all straight!

Stowe, VT

> On Jun 18, 2018, at 7:05 AM, Alison Wagner <alikatofvt...> wrote:
> Good Morning!
> The alarm went off around 5:15 this morning, only I did not set one. What
> I was hearing was similar to a radio alarm I had back in the twentieth
> century. Whoever it was, it had my full attention, so I immediately
> recorded it and then sought it out. I live in the woods, in the foothills
> on the western slope of the Green Mountains. Totally wrong habitat for a
> Clay-colored Sparrow, which I’d say it “sounded like” (but wrong note,
> cadence, etc.) if I had to describe it to someone. Easily, I located him
> on a pine branch, a summer resident here for sure....Gray above, light
> underside, pink bill, cheerleader skirt (white outer feathers on an
> otherwise gray tail). A junco with a sore throat? Watching him tilt his
> head while simultaneously hearing the buzzes left no doubt. I wondered if
> he has had any luck attracting a female. Sure got my attention...nice
> alarm.
> Ali
> Huntington
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