[CT Birds] Willow vs Alder

Greg Hanisek ghanisek at rep-am.com
Sat Jun 7 17:14:07 EDT 2008

Given the recent discussions on this subject, I thought the following post from IDFrontiers would be of interest (Greg Hanisek):

For those of you who like identification challenges, how about a 
calling Traill's Flycatcher?
That's a lot better than a silent one, right? But, there are still 
pitfalls. I've been poring over the
classic literature and recordings for a year or so, and have now 
posted a new web page
detailing the differences between the
major vocalizations of Alder and Willow Flycatchers. It's at


I hope you find it useful. Among other features, you can do 
side-by-side visual (spectrographic)
and aural  comparison of any two of the sounds.

Conclusions: Stein's homologies look good for the most part. 
Stereotypy is high,
as one would expect of a Tyrannid. Based on the samples I've looked 
at, from all
over the breeding ranges of both species, I believe just about any 
decently recorded Traill's
sound can be identified to species, spectrographically, but some of 
them sound pretty similar.

If the new page is too complicated, a simpler one I posted a year ago 
is still up. One
thing it has that the new one doesn't is a longer sample of singing
by each species.


Feedback and corrections are welcome.


Arch McCallum
Eugene, Oregon, USA

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