[CT Birds] Willow or Alder?

Julie Keefer julie.keefer at gmail.com
Tue Jun 3 17:11:38 EDT 2008

Is it possible this bird is a hybrid of the 2 species?  It is my
understanding from reading/learning about bird song that Empidonax song is
innate and not learned.  Therefore, wouldn't a bird that seems to have a
song that is similar to both species suggest it was a hybrid of some sort or
a genetic variant at the very least?  Considering how similar these species
are, hybridization doesn't seem all that unlikely.

Julie Keefer

On Tue, Jun 3, 2008 at 2:58 PM, William Sweet <w.sweet at sbcglobal.net> wrote:

> Last year I posted on the subject of a possible Alder Flycatcher in
> Veteran's Park in Watertown (actually in the powerline cut behind the park).
> The song was so much like an Alder to me that I recorded it as such for a
> couple of years in my journal.
>  After the post last year, Greg Hanisek investigated this bird and he
> agreed it was a song very much like an Alder but he was leaning toward a
> Willow singing like an Alder as the habitat is very much Willow friendly.
> Greg - please correct me if I'm wrong with your estimation.
>  Anyway - Today at noon I took a walk in the powerline cut and heard a
> flycatcher song that was a little more Willow than Alder but yet still
> mixed... not quite a pure Willow song. It will be interesting to see (if
> this bird hangs around) if this song becomes more Alder-like as it settles
> in over the next month as in the previous years.
>  If anyone is interested... Veteran's Park in Watertown is on Nova Scotia
> Drive off of 262. If you drive the loop-road and come to the basketball
> courts... Park there. The path to the powerline cut is across from the
> courts. Keep straight on the path and goes to the right and connects to a
> service trail. Walk that service trail. This area has been pretty good
> birding over the years.
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