[CT Birds] Cromwell meadows birds and an observation of behavior.

Boletebill boletebill at yahoo.com
Tue May 15 22:12:19 EDT 2007

After a disappointing AM outing at Sachem's Head, Guilford and then to Hammonassett I drove north to Middletown and swung over to Cromwell Meadows for a look at this under-birded Wildlife Management area.
     I managed to turn up a dozen species of warblers in the wooded area just west of the parking lot including Wilson's, Maggies, Blue-wing, BT Green, BT Blue, B&W, Chestnut-sided, and the usual common breeders....down the trail at the Mattabesek River (or is it the Sebethe River??) on the mud flats there was Solitary Sandpiper, Pectoral SP, Spotted SP's and some peeps moving up the river out of sight.
    This spot is well know for Least Bittern but I struck out there.
  A behavior observation:
     I heard a RB Grosbeak singing way up a cottonwood and went around to try to find it. After a minute or two it stopped singing and I was standing under the tree out of the sun when a bird flew in over my head. A female RB grosbeak.  She was singing her call note softly..."pink... pink....pink"  Then she sang a primary song, but very softly.  Immediately a male flew in and landed a few inches away.  She sang again and the male immediately copulated with her twice.  This took a grand total of about 9 seconds. After the second copulation the female flew away and the male fanned his tail twice, each time kind of shuttering his whole tail section as he fanned the tail feathers out.  He then wiped his bill back and forth across a branch four or five times and then he started to sing.  His song was absolutely ringing out. He sang rapidly, (and I have to say happily,) loud-clear-and-continously for about five minutes. It was awesome, the whole thing. It was impossible not to
     I've never seen this behavior before and I felt priveledged to witness this.  SHE SANG TO HIM.  If someone can comment on this behavior with singing females I'd love to hear about it.  Does this occur with other female singers?  Cardinals?
  Anyway just wanted to share that observation.
                                                     Bill Yule

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