Date: 6/23/18 3:30 pm
From: Bob Righter <rorighter...>
Subject: [cobirds] Robin and Black-headed Grosbeak songs
Was I hearing the song from a Robin or was it from a Black-headed Grosbeak?

I usually associate the song of the Black-headed Grosbeak as being patterned like a Robin but embellished with various toots, whistles, and slurred notes, delivered at slightly faster tempo. The Grosbeak’s song is sometimes referred to as sounding like a revved up Robin.

On the east side of Moraine Park, in RMNP, I heard a song emanating from a spruce-fir-ponderosa habitat, that to me sounded like a typical Black-headed Grosbeak’s song. However wherever I looked in the direction of the song all I could see were Robins.

From a patch of willows that were adjacent to the conifers I heard and saw a Black-headed Grosbeak singing. Shortly it flew to a Douglas-fir limb and continued singing for a short time.

What was I to think? Do Robins really have that range of song diversity to sound like a Black-headed Grosbeak, could Robins and Blacked Grosbeaks mimic each other’s song, like individuals from other songbird families, or was I just hearing an odd, revved up Robin singing?I’m inclined to believe I was hearing a revved up Robin that coincidently was in the same neighborhood as the Black-headed Grosbeak.

That’s why birding is fun—one never knows where the next birding dilemma will occur.

If any one would like to hear the recording I obtained, let me know as I’d be delighted to send a copy, but it wouldn’t be until next week, as I have to download the file to the computer, which is in Denver.

Bob Righter
Denver, CO


Sent from my iPad

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