In 1984, researcher Charles Brown reported differences between eastern and western Purple Martins in several types of vocalizations. Since the original study was conducted at only two sites, I’m curious whether the findings can be generalized across the continent. Do all eastern martins sound like the ones at Brown’s site in Texas, and all western martins like the ones at his site in Arizona? Or do Purple Martins show patterns of regional variation all across North America? Let’s check the reported differences against available recordings.
When it comes to identifying bird sounds, unfamiliarity can actually be a very useful mark.
The Peterson Field Guide to Bird Sounds of Eastern North America will be available in stores on Tuesday, March 7! Last Thursday I talked about the book with Mark Lynch of WICN – you can hear that interview online. Tomorrow morning (Sunday March 5), I’ll be interviewed live on Ray Brown’s show Talkin’ Birds, which is syndicated all over New England! Listen in at 9:30 AM Eastern. I will be doing a lot of traveling this year to promote the…
“No differences known,” says the Sibley guide about the voices of Black and Pigeon Guillemots. This isn’t quite true. But the differences certainly are not widely known.
The purpose of this blog post is to draw attention to one of the least known Empidonax species, one that has yet to appear in the ABA area, but is high on the list of many a birder as a potential vagrant. The bird I am speaking of is Pine Flycatcher (Empidonax affinis). An inhabitant of montane forests from just shy of the Arizona border to northern Central America, it favors (as one would expect) pine-dominated woodland.
We were excited to arrive at Parque Natural Mexiquillo before the break of dawn in June, to look for waterfall-loving swifts.
It’s not every day that you photograph and audio record a bird that has never been photographed or audio recorded before.
Of late, I’ve had occasion to question the conventional wisdom that Bushtits do not sing.
But ask a recordist about the toughest birds in the ABA area and you’ll get a very different list. Most of the species that I talk about below aren’t really “hard” birds to see. Some of them can be downright common in the right areas. But what makes a bird hard to record can be quite different than what makes it hard to find.
Waxwings have some of the simplest repertoires of all passerines, with no true “song”, or at least none that has been documented. And even their calls are typically variations on the same trill. Or so I thought.