Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Singing migrants

We've come to appreciate the video function of our point-and-shoot camera. Now and then, when we hear an unfamiliar song from an unseen bird, we can capture some audio to listen to again at home. We have amassed a pretty extensive collection of bird song CD's, which we've ripped to our hard drive. With only a few clicks of the mouse we can compare a strange song recorded on our camera with those in our archive.

This morning there was quite a bit of bird song beside Peninsula Harbour - Savannah, Song, Swamp, Lincoln's, White-crowned and White-throated Sparrows; Common Yellowthroat (first of year), Orange-crowned, Nashville, Black-throated Green, and Yellow-rumped Warblers.

Of these species, I've the least familiarity with the songs of the Lincoln's Sparrow and the Orange-crowned Warbler. Below are a few snippets of each. Sorry about the sound of heavy machinery in background of the LISP video.

Some birders say that the song of the Lincoln's Sparrow defies description. David Sibley characterizes it as:
A continuous jumble of husky, chirping trills with several pitch changes, jew-jew-jew-jew-je-eeeeeeeee-do-je-e-e-e-to, bubbling quality reminiscent of House wren.

Sibley describes the song of the Orange-crowned as:

...a fast trill of fairly flat notes; individual notes not very distinct, last few notes of a lower pitch tititititititututu; notes generally downslurred but so sharp this is hard to hear.

Do you think these verbal descriptions capture some of the memorable elements of these songs?


  1. Look what I found on Kijiji : Aperrently you had a bird that was worth 125$ in your yard. Not a fan of this :(

  2. I love the video idea...will have to drag out that camera!