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May 08, 2008


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The Zen Birdfeeder

Don - thanks for weighing in on this. Seems the concensus is Yellow-rumped Warbler. I'll get out there next week to track it down. Thanks for the playback suggestion - I'll see if I can do that (responsibly).

The Zen Birdfeeder

I got some great feedback from members of the Hudson-Mohawk Bird Club, either in ruling out what I thought it had been, or opining on what it might indeed be. Here is the great discussion string that went on in reaching a fairly-agreed-upon conclustion:
- The Black-throated Blue usually has fewer notes, usually 3 or 4, and sounds like zhree-zhree-zhree-zhrayyyy, overall much slower than the Black-throated Green with the last note ascending in pitch. Also, during nesting, the green is usually higher up in the trees while the blue stays closer to the ground. This is usually also true in migration.
- The green is common in hemlock forests and mixed forests while the blue prefers forest with a fairly dense understory.
- It sounds like it could be a Black-throated Blue - but they do not usually sing so many notes - if it is buzzy and the last note is on a higher pitch it probably is a BTBW. It is usually 2-3 notes on the lower pitch and then the higher one at the end.
- Well, it's not Black-throated Blue - I'd try listening to Yellow-rumped Warbler recordings. They have a few variations and I'm thinking this is one. Could be wrong - as my birding mentor used to say, "I'm often wrong, but never in doubt...."
- This is neither of the Black-throated warblers. What sort of habitat is it nesting in? What kind of trees?
- I don't think it's a Black-throated Blue - they really sound like dear dear dear deeeear or beer beer beer beeeear. And it's usually a slower song.
- I can tell you what it's not, and that's a Black-throated Blue. Unfortunately, I can't be of much more help, since the source of the song escapes me. Maybe a Yellow-rumped Warbler? C'mon out there, HMbirders. This is a good challenge. Don't get confused by the goldfinches twittering in the foreground.
- Yellow rumped warbler
- I am thinking Blackburnian - they have a fair amount of variability, although it could be a Yellow-rumped - seems slow and loud for that though. I agree that it does not seem to be a Black-throated Blue - not buzzy enough.
- Had time to listen to Stokes warbler sound files. Sounds like this bird, especially about half-way thru the yellow-rumped file.

My thanks to everyone in the HM group that contributed to this discussion. I'll put on some black-fly-proof clothing after mother's day has passed and will track this guy down.

Donald Harris

It might be a Black-throated Blue Warbler, I would also consider Yellow-rumped Warbler. The habitat sounds good for one, and the song somewhat resembles variations I have heard in the field of this species. It would probably be fun to try and locate the bird when it was singing to figure out exacty what it is. If you could play this recording back to the bird while it was singing, I'm sure it would come right in so you could get an ID.

Thanks for sharing,

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