[CT Birds] more on early-season care

Greg Hanisek ghanisek at rep-am.com
Fri Mar 30 16:14:38 EDT 2012


Regarding recent discussions about care with perceived super-early mihgrants, see the resposne here from Kevin McGowan.

Greg Hanisek
Waterbury

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Kevin J. McGowan 
To: BIRDWG01 at LISTSERV.ARIZONA.EDU 
Sent: Friday, March 30, 2012 3:54 PM
Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Timely mimicry by Lesser Goldfinches


Interesting observations.  I have noticed that starlings in Ithaca begin using imitations of migrants a few weeks before they appeared.  One in particular used Eastern Wood-Pewee a couple of weeks before their arrival for years in a row.

 

Kevin

 

 

 

Kevin J. McGowan

Ithaca, NY

kjm2 at cornell.edu

 

From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification [mailto:BIRDWG01 at LISTSERV.ARIZONA.EDU] On Behalf Of Brian Sullivan
Sent: Friday, March 30, 2012 3:33 PM
To: BIRDWG01 at LISTSERV.ARIZONA.EDU
Subject: [BIRDWG01] Timely mimicry by Lesser Goldfinches

 

Birders

I have a flock of about 30 Lesser Goldfinches in my yard this year. They frequently incorporate mimicry into their vocalizations, and I've noticed that three times this year they've detected (and mimicked) species before they arrive and begin to vocalize in my yard. The first example was back in January with California Thrasher. They mimicked the 'dulit' call before the local birds got wound up and started giving that call. Thrashers are present year-round, but generally quiet prior to Jan. Then a few weeks ago they started to incorporate singing Pacific-slope Flycatchers into their calls--the flycatcher arrived a few days later in the yard. Today they've started to mimic the call of Western Tanager--but I've yet to see one in the yard. I have had Bullock's and Hooded Orioles, as well as Black-headed Grosbeak arrive within the last two days, so the Tanagers can't be far behind. 

I guess my question is this: are these birds programmed to begin incorporating certain species' calls at a particular time of the year, or are they just finding and hearing these arrivals before me, and incorporating these new and interesting sounds? The latter seems more likely. I'm wondering if anyone else has noticed this in Lesser Goldfinch or other finches that incorporate mimicry? The Starlings in the neighborhood don't seem to change what they mimic throughout the year.

Thanks

Brian

-- 
===========
Brian L. Sullivan

eBird/AKN Project Leader 
www.ebird.org
www.avianknowledge.net

Photo Editor
Birds of North America Online
http://bna.birds.cornell.edu/BNA
North American Birds
www.americanbirding.org
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