[CT Birds] Paul D's "Interesting Experience"

Jamie Meyers ctredbird2 at comcast.net
Thu Mar 15 19:22:52 EDT 2012


Along similar lines, I have seen Chipping Sparrows respond to playback of Worm-eating Warbler songs.  Of course, those two species sing very similar songs.  We are now approaching those couple of weeks of the year where it will soon be possible to hear the similar trills of Pine Warblers, juncos and Chipping Sparrows at the same time.  My experience is that Pines seldom show in northern CT prior to April 1 and Chipping Sparrow usually follows around the second week of April, but in looking at the extended forecast for next week, it wouldn't surprise me to get a few around.  Anyway, with experience the typical songs of each species are reasonably distinct from each other, but I have heard enough variation amongst these birds so that sometimes I just have to find the bird to see what species is actually singing.  

While doing CBCs and other counts I have had mornings when my screech-owl whistle is not up to par at best, but the birds still respond even to second rate calls.  Given the variation in bird song, I'm not surprised that birds respond to vocalizations that are "close enough".  

Many of us know that the song that we hear a bird giving is sometimes not the entire song it's performing.  Birds can hear audio frequencies that are inaudible to humans.  Perhaps part of the answer also lies in what they can hear in its totality, not just what we can hear.  

Ah, warbler song .... bring it on!!!

And we know what Paul was doing with a Pine Warbler tape -- seeking yet another early record.  I heard one today -- but it was in the background of a golf tournament on TV.

Jamie Meyers
Canton, CT

----- Original Message -----
From: Dennis Varza <dennisvz at optonline.net>
To: Posting Bird List <ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org>
Sent: Thu, 15 Mar 2012 15:48:00 -0000 (UTC)
Subject: Re: [CT Birds] Paul D's "Interesting Experience"

Hi Folks

Many Many Moons Ago

I read a paper on sparrows. I think it was Field Sparrows and Song  
Sparrows. The point I remember is that when a bird only had  
conspecifics as neighbors it ignored the other species, when it had  
the other species as a neighbor it responded to them.


Dennis Varza
Fairfield

On Mar 15, 2012, at 9:57 AM, Kevin Burgio wrote:

> All,
>
> This is not a purely scientific thought, however, I think that  
> while a bird
> is already defending territory, it may be in the birds interest to  
> react to
> any perceived threat, no matter how unlikely.
>
> I think of it like how we (humans) evolved.  If we are in the woods  
> and
> hear something rustle in a bush, our sympathetic nervous system  
> kicks in
> and we become more alert and ready to run (or fight) because, even  
> if the
> noise is just the wind nine times out of ten, the one time it *is* a
> mountain lion we had better be prepared for it.
>
> There are costs associated to reacting to intruders, such as increased
> exposure to predators, metabolic (and perhaps injury) costs  
> associated with
> attacking another bird, however, if a bird wasn't aggressive when  
> defending
> its territory, their territory may shrink and a female may not  
> breed with
> them, culminating in their passive genes not being passed on.
>
> Just a thought without any real scientific study to back it up.
>
> Kevin
> ___________________________________
> Kevin Burgio
> Ph.D. Student
> NSF Graduate Research Fellow
> University of Connecticut
> Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Dept
> U-3043 75 No. Eagleville Road
> Storrs, CT  06269-3043
> kevin.burgio at uconn.edu
> (860) 486-3839
> http://www.eeb.uconn.edu/people/burgio
>
>
> On Thu, Mar 15, 2012 at 9:41 AM,  wrote:
>
>>
>>  Not to mention that many of these birds have alternate and multiple
>> songs. So much to learn, so little time.....
>>
>> Jay Kaplan
>> Canton
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Glenn Williams 
>> To: ctbirds 
>> Sent: Thu, Mar 15, 2012 7:39 am
>> Subject: Re: [CT Birds] Paul D's "Interesting Experience"
>>
>>
>>
>> It is probably also possible that the acoustics of the playback  
>> device do
>> not
>> represent the actual song as realistically as a live bird and  
>> could add to
>> the
>> confusion for a different species.
>>
>> Glenn Williams
>> Mystic
>> _______________________________________________
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> _______________________________________________
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