[CT Birds] "Interesting experience" - confusing bird songs
Mntncougar at aol.com
Mntncougar at aol.com
Thu Mar 15 21:33:51 EDT 2012
Since I saw my name mentioned in the post below:
"Paul brings up a topic of interest to me. Last year in Boston Hollow Don
Morgan and I had a brief discussion about a Black-throated Blue Warbler
reacting to the (iPod-produced) song of a Cerulean Warbler. Sometimes (OK,
often, in my case) people have difficulty distinguishing the song of one
species from that of another with a similar song. But I can't believe that there
is any confusion for these birds. A slowed-down sonogram will show us the
differences, and certainly these birds can hear those differences. Perhaps
these similar-song species react to one another's songs because they have
similar nesting habitat requirements? Anybody on top of research in this area?
I can add a little more to it and also mention some other "sound alike's"
germane to Paul's post.
I first ran into the BT Blue - Cerulean issue about 3 years ago in Boston
Hollow. I heard 2 birds which I was certain were Ceruleans, but had a lot
of trouble finding them. One I never saw, but after spending several DAYS
looking for 1 in the same location I was amazed to find it was a BT Blue.
Subsequently I found several others in the Boston Hollow area that sounded the
same, and last year the whole group on a bird walk there heard one, to
which Rob probably refers. That one was not as close to Cerulean as some
though. Part of the reason it is so confusing for me there is because I did, in
fact, find a Cerulean in the same area, and there are several locations
nearby in the northeast corner where they have been found quite reliably.
With regard to Paul D's bird, there are three birds that I know of that
will all respond to any of the three songs, Chipping Sparrow, Pine Warbler and
Worm-eating Warbler. I suspect that Junco is not usually an issue because
they aren't usually in this area at the same time. However, I've discovered
in the last year that there is a summer population of Juncos in Canaan,
and of course they do sing more readily in spring and summer. Having now
heard them quite often I can see why they might have to be added to that
group, though I don't know first-hand that they would respond to the others, or
the others to them. But it's obvious that birds are not always perfectly
tuned to their own kind. Perhaps Blue-wing and Golden-wing could also be
pointed out, but of course they are very closely related.
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