Date: 5/30/19 5:24 am From: <clearwater...> Subject: [obol] White-crowned buzzy song
Hi Phil & All,
While monitoring Vesper sparrows in recent years, I've run into a few White-crowned Sparrows that seem to be incapable of making a normal song. They open their beaks and just a long buzz comes out. One such bird in a Christmas tree farm near Airlie (s. Polk) "sang" like that all season, and never found a mate so far as I could tell. At a distance he sounded like a Grasshopper Sparrow with a sore throat.
In every sizable population of sparrows there always seem to be a few birds that can't make the normal song. Some Vesper Sparrows are missing the sweet introductory notes and just go straight to the second part of their song, others only do the intro notes, or do the intro notes followed by a long buzz. Usually it seems like these birds with oddball songs don't succeed in finding mates. You can often find them wandering at this time of the season when most other birds are paired up.