PDA

View Full Version : Higher Altitude Songbird?



eddie
07-14-2009, 08:48 PM
Could someone please identify the songbird that can typically be heard at the higher altitudes in the Whites and Adirondacks? It is a slower flute-like song that is my favorite bird song. It always seems to be like a welcoming melody to the higher peaks. If you can find a weblink for the song, that would be great and I would certainly know it when I hear it.

This may help: I was at the Adirondack Museum Wild Center in Tupper Lake NY two years ago and I remember there was an exhibit with this bird and song featured in it.

This would help me during my off hiking days - I can listen to the birdsong while smelling the residual mud on my hiking boots. :o (Yes, I need help:D)

Early Bird
07-14-2009, 08:53 PM
It's a thrush. Probably Swainson's or Hermit. Bicknell's if you've been lucky. They are my favorite too.
Here's a link to Swainson's, http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Swainsons_Thrush/sounds (http://http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Swainsons_Thrush/sounds). You can find the others here too.

rhihn
07-14-2009, 09:03 PM
Possibly a type of thrush?

http://www.wildmusic.org/animals/thrush
http://www.learnbirdsongs.com/birdsong.php?id=32
http://www.10x50.com/sounds.htm

eddie
07-14-2009, 09:05 PM
Check out the beginning and the end of the video on the Quick Tour Inside button at the Wild Center website. It's that bird!

http://wildcenter.org/indoor.htm

Kevin, Judy and Emma
07-14-2009, 09:35 PM
Killoweet. The White Throated Sparrow. I love that sound!

KDT

TrishandAlex
07-14-2009, 09:48 PM
Thank you so much for this thread! Alex and I have been hearing that lovely sound a lot lately. She asked me what kind of bird that was and I told her I'd have to find out...and now I know! :D

Peakbagr
07-14-2009, 10:30 PM
Yep, White Throated Sparrow. Welcoming you to the summit or alpine zones.

eddie
07-15-2009, 04:21 AM
Great, that's it. Nice and thank you!

They apparently have a large natural range but I have never heard one outside of the higher altitudes.

http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/White-throated_Sparrow/id

Waumbek
07-15-2009, 05:47 AM
Great, that's it. Nice and thank you!

They apparently have a large natural range but I have never heard one outside of the higher altitudes.

http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/White-throated_Sparrow/id

They're in my back yard, 1200'.

Jason Berard
07-15-2009, 06:24 AM
If you want a good resource for high elevation songbird songs, check this out:
http://www.vtecostudies.org/MBW/MBWAssets/MountainBirdwatchTraining_23min.mp3

you can download the mp3's and burn them to a disc, and listen to them whenever you like.:cool:

Jazzbo
07-15-2009, 06:36 AM
Shucks! I was just fixing to respond with Mountain Bird Watch, but jason beat me to it. However I'll simply add link to Mountan Bird Watch site which features additional links to other audio files. This is a great resource for info montane ecology.

http://www.vtecostudies.org/MBW/multimedia.html

The audio files are really well done. I particularly like how it mainly focuses on higher altitude birds so you aren't inundated with million bird songs. Limited focus makes it esier to process the subtle differences more easily.

You can also store audio files on your ipod to carry on the trail to help ID birds while songs are still fresh. I just purchased a portable player which I hope to use sometime to play bird songs on trail and possible attract montane birds to me. I think that's what Mountain Bird Watchers do for the bird counts on the Bicknell's Thrush. I hope I can particiate in this count next season.

Early Bird
07-15-2009, 06:55 AM
A good mnemonic device for the White-throated sparrow is "Old, Sam Peabody, Peabody, Peabody, " or "Old, Sweet, Canada, Canada, Canada," depending on where you are from. Love that one too.

Tom Rankin
07-15-2009, 06:58 AM
They're in my back yard, 1200'.In the Winter, we have them at 230'. :)

Waumbek
07-15-2009, 07:57 AM
I have heard of a portable device that 'listens" to a bird song and then identifies it for you. Does anyone know about it? I am very inept at remembering calls and the near simultaneous identifcation might help me internalize them.

Mark Schaefer
07-15-2009, 10:29 AM
They're in my back yard, 1200'.In the Winter, we have them at 230'. :) I can top (or bottom) both of those. I have heard them in the more wild sections of my neighborhood at 160' during the winter. I also recall Darren had a photo of one in his "Yard Birds" photo thread -- taken with his backyard photo setup.

Lately they do appear to be wintering more in the northeast, although I believe they always have done so in the lower elevations.

For some reason I have been hearing fewer during the last few years in the Catskills. They were once more common. One greeted me on my first Catskill peak way back in 1975. The thrushes may be more creative in their songs, but the White Throated Sparrow has remained my favorite song bird. I will need to get myself back up to the Adirondacks again for my WTSP fix.

Daniel Eagan
07-15-2009, 01:33 PM
My wife and I have seen and heard white-throated sparrows in Union Square and Stuyvesant Town in Manhattan. Usually during the winter. They are wonderful birds.

I like all the linked sites, but don't the sparrows also have a sort of melancholy descending call? The sites seem to have only one call. Or am I thinking of another bird?

Mark Schaefer
07-15-2009, 02:14 PM
I like all the linked sites, but don't the sparrows also have a sort of melancholy descending call? The sites seem to have only one call. Or am I thinking of another bird? There are several variations in their songs and calls. both ascending and descending. The "Typical Voice" on this webpage (http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/White-throated_Sparrow/id) has one of the descending variations.

rup
07-18-2009, 10:49 PM
Very interesting.

But I am left perplexed. What I always thought a Thrush may not be.

There is a bird that I call the 'NH bird'. I hear it in the N NE mts in summer, and also in NJ in the spring and fall. The call is mesmerizing, but simple: A tone, followed by what sounds like notes an octave lower:

Ta - te -te - te - teee

Anyone??

WinterWarlock
07-19-2009, 05:32 AM
Thank you so much for this thread - I had one of these practically following me down the trail on Street/Nye last weekend. Now I know.

Early Bird
07-19-2009, 07:31 AM
Very interesting.

But I am left perplexed. What I always thought a Thrush may not be.

There is a bird that I call the 'NH bird'. I hear it in the N NE mts in summer, and also in NJ in the spring and fall. The call is mesmerizing, but simple: A tone, followed by what sounds like notes an octave lower:

Ta - te -te - te - teee

Anyone??

Black-throated blue warbler?http://http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Black-throated_Blue_Warbler/sounds (http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Black-throated_Blue_Warbler/sounds)

vegematic
07-19-2009, 09:53 AM
Very interesting.

But I am left perplexed. What I always thought a Thrush may not be.

There is a bird that I call the 'NH bird'. I hear it in the N NE mts in summer, and also in NJ in the spring and fall. The call is mesmerizing, but simple: A tone, followed by what sounds like notes an octave lower:

Ta - te -te - te - teee

Anyone??

I also thought of a Chickadee, either Black-capped (http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Black-capped_Chickadee/sounds) or Boreal (http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Boreal_Chickadee/sounds).
-vegematic

rup
07-19-2009, 07:41 PM
Thanks for the info.

It's a plain tone w/o any chirps/warbles/trills. The white throated sparrow is right on (well, the recording has an intermediate frequency between the hi and low frequencies that I have heard over the years), and the black capped chikadee a close second. With the ID, I'll feel a bit closer to the woods. Very cool.

Stan
07-19-2009, 07:45 PM
I also thought of a Chickadee, either Black-capped (http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Black-capped_Chickadee/sounds) or Boreal (http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Boreal_Chickadee/sounds).
-vegematic

Nawww ... chicadees go, "Chicka-dee-dee-dee", a warning song as sweet as it sounds. Perhaps "ta-da-dee-dee-deet" was a chickadee at a mosquito infested gathering.

Umsaskis
07-20-2009, 07:53 PM
For anyone trying to figure out what bird you are listening to, there is a simple way to call them in during the spring and early summer. Most warblers will respond to it, chickadees and nuthatches do as well, but thrushes tend not to as well. There are two ways to call. The first is to make a loud "pshhh, pshhh, pshhh" or "psss psss psss." It is called "pishing," in birder-speak. The second way is to hold the palm of your hand up to your mouth and kiss it loudly, repeatedly. It comes out sounding like a bird's alarm call. Calling birds in to identify them works best when you have one or two birds and you know where they are sitting but you just can't see them; that way when you see it you know it was the one you were hearing. It is also fun when you hear a bunch of birds singing, because you can bring in a whole host of different species at once. They will stop singing and either be silent or make alarm calls when they fly in, but they will often come close enough to see without binoculars. If you don't have a bird book with you or don't know your birds well, make quick note of obvious features like back, belly and throat color, presence of wing bars, and so forth, so you can remember them when you get back home to your bird book. Once they have flown in, they don't stick around long, so make your observations quickly. You could try it this time of year - sometimes it works with some species (WTSP is a good responder to the call), but your best bet is to try it out next May and early June.

cushetunk
07-20-2009, 08:11 PM
"Pishing" birds in can sometimes be useful, but I'd just add that it is best used in moderation. The noise you're making is alarming the birds into investigating a potential threat -- meaning they stop all the normal, wholesome day-to-day bird activities they do like foraging and breeding and staying warm. Especially during winter and during migration, birds don't have many extra calories, and so they're on a pretty delicate energy balance. Some birders will go around pishing at every darn bird that happens to fly behind a leaf. Be patient. Don't be "that birder."

Puck
07-21-2009, 08:06 AM
Cashetunk- well said.
for more on pishing http://www.amazon.com/Art-Pishing-Attract-Birds-Mimicking/dp/0811732959. This is a book by Pete Dunne that comes with a CD. As pointed out there are times that you do and do not pish, and is covered in the book.

Pishing mimics the distress call of a titmouse on the one extreme and a bird screaming in death throws while in the clutches of a coopers hawk at the other extreme. It triggers a mob behavior in birds present. Another technique is using an owl call either a screetch owl or saw whet owl depending on where you live.

For the record I do not pish. I have been on one Christmas Bird Count (CBCs)in New Haven CT when the group leader started a combination of pishing and owl calls. with in seconds he had a bush full of chickadees scolding him. This practice is discouraged in the mountain CBC for the reasons Cashetunk gives. The birds can be on the edge of survival in winter or migration and will need to get its calories, or hide, or rest or whatever inorder to make it through the next flight or next subfreezing night.