Date: 5/13/19 11:30 am
From: Andrew McGann <andrew.mcgann...>
Subject: Re: [MDBirding] Towhees not singing
Hi Jim,

Usually there is a precipitous drop-off in singing activity once females have begun incubating the eggs. At this point the paternity is settled, and extra-pair copulations are no longer a concern. This effect is much greater when you have a local population of birds that are highly synchronized in their breeding phenology. All of the females are fertile at the same time, singing is maximized among all of the males at the same time, and then boom… singing almost ceases overnight. Singing will pick up again as some nests are depredated/failed, and renesting or double-clutching ensues later in the season.

I usually notice that White-breasted Nuthatches go into “stealth mode” like this every year around the second week of May.

Best,
Andy

On Mon, May 13, 2019 at 7:09 AM James Wilson <birdmanjfw...> <mailto:<birdmanjfw...>> wrote:
I have posted about this topic before so I hope I am not boring you.

I recently spent 5 days in Cape May County NJ scouting and being a designated driver for a WSB team. For 3 days we had a caravan of 4 cars and 21 people scouting the various habitats. This was 4 different WSB team.

For 3 days, no one, repeat no one, heard a Towhee singing. It was not until Saturday evening, around 6 o'clock, that I heard two singing. This was in Towhee Heaven, i.e. the road behind the Coast Guard Ponds. Sorry to be posting about this particular out of state spot but anyone who has birded in Cape May is well aware of the Coast Guard Ponds.

I spoke with Tom Reed about no Towhees singing. He was puzzled too but he did add that Towhees like drier habitat.

I know that I am only slightly obsessed about this topic ... no, moderately obsessed .... no, insanely obsessed about this topic. My wife thinks I am crazy. HAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHA

If I ever find any concrete answers, I will definitely post it. Obsessed
minds want to know.

Jim Wilson
Queenstown

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