[CT Birds] - Ceruleans vs BTBs

Angela Dimmitt angeladimmitt at aol.com
Mon Jun 12 10:38:26 EDT 2017

Jack and Kevin's comments below have got me thinking:  in past Junes, I have done the SBC in Riverton on both sides of the Farmington river, the American Legion and People's State Forests, and most years I have heard but not seen Cerulean warblers along the western side of the river, high in the trees, habitat very similar to River Road Kent.  In People's SF, one of the most common birds is the Black-throated Blue and I have heard several different "accents".  But I have always felt sure of my calls on the Ceruleans along the river, clear and sweet.  On June 25, another good birder with me, we shall try harder to see the bird as well!
Angela Dimmitt
New Milford

-----Original Message-----
From: ctbirds-request <ctbirds-request at lists.ctbirding.org>
To: ctbirds <ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org>
Sent: Mon, Jun 12, 2017 10:03 am
Subject: CTBirds Digest, Vol 3758, Issue 1

Today's Topics:

   4. "Cerulean-Type" Black-throated Blue Warbler songs (Jack Swatt)
   5. Re: "Cerulean-Type" Black-throated Blue Warbler songs
      (Kevin Finnan)

Message: 5
Date: Sun, 11 Jun 2017 20:57:27 -0500
From: Kevin Finnan <kfinnan at aol.com>
To: Jack Swatt <jswattbirds at snet.net>
Cc: ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org
Subject: Re: [CT Birds] "Cerulean-Type" Black-throated Blue Warbler
Message-ID: <D3D0C412-5349-472E-8C05-E9C63E4ABA58 at aol.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii

Hi Jack, I have noticed the same thing at two locations in Goshen. You think you are hearing a Cerulean but it turns out to be a Black-throated Blue. In both cases, the habitat is classic Black-throated Blue and there never have been Ceruleans there, at least, as far as I know.

Best regards,


Sent from my iPhone

> On Jun 11, 2017, at 8:12 PM, Jack Swatt via CTBirds <ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org> wrote:
>   I do a lot of birding in New Hampshire and have had the same experience as Don Morgan has had with the alternate song of the Black-throated Blue Warbler that sounds almost exactly like the Cerulean Warbler song.  It seems lately almost all the BT Blues I hear up there are singing this alternate song.  It's become familiar to northern birders, but frequently gets misidentified as Cerulean Warblers by people not familiar with this song, as I did when I first heard it.  Just as Don had mentioned, the BT Blues singing this alternate song respond to playback of Cerulean warbler song and not to BT Blue playbacks.  It has generated several discussions on the NH Birds list-serve about visually verifying any Cerulean Warbler observations, especially since their decline has made them very rare sightings in the state of NH
> https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/nhbirds/OJ4Poc06C6w
> While this song has been reported in NH, VT and MA, Don's report is the first one I've heard of in CT.  I'm not sure if this is a goegraphically local song to New England, but I haven't heard of any reports outside the area (granted, I didn't do an extensive search of McCauley or Xeno-canto).  As mentioned before, in the northern states Cerulean Warbler has become quite rare, but in MA and CT their ranges overlap.  I would suggest visually confirming any Cerulean Warbler identification based on song, especially in the northern hills where the overlap occurs.  This should be especially considered when submitting sightings into eBird where the data can be used scientifically to monitor population trends.
> If anyone can't open Don's recording, I also have one on an eBird checklist:
> http://ebird.org/ebird/nh/edit/checklist?subID=S30346654
> Jack Swatt
> Wolcott
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