It actually reminds me of a WIllet alarm or flight call, especially the beginning notes, but I don't believe I have ever heard such a drawn-out series from that species.
From: Geoff Malosh
Sent: May 12, 2015 9:06 PM
Subject: RE: [nfc-l] Sora? Southwestern Pennsylvania May 4, 3:43am
Chris and all,
I did not find any matches to Whimbrel at Xeno-Canto that validate that messy, sora-like opening to the NFC I recorded. Though I didn’t click on every single link. It’s interesting that Sora may not be known to whinny in nocturnal flight. I will say that Whimbrel was my very first impression of this bird, but after looking at it more carefully, the voice didn’t seem right for Whimbrel to me, sort of the opposite impression that Chris had. I also didn’t think the spectrogram matched up with Whimbrel very well. All the Whimbrel spectrograms I found (that were well recorded) seem to show a distinct upward hook on the front side of each note, looking somewhat like a lower case letter “r”, whereas the bird in my recording didn’t seem to show that even partially.
Are there any other possibilities to consider, like the alarm call of a local bird? It would make a very interesting record either way: a Sora whinnying on migration, or a very early Whimbrel, or perhaps some other odd thing. Or perhaps it can’t really be identified with any certainty. Anyway, if anyone has any other ideas, I would much appreciate hearing them.
Good birding (and listening),
Glad to hear that you are out there recording, listening, and reviewing.
Thanks for sharing your recording of this interesting call.
I think I’ll stick my neck out there and say that I’m in the Whimbrel camp on this one. The cadence and quality seem right for Whimbrel; it’s not a perfect match, but I think it sounds best for Whimbrel. I don’t think this is Sora, because your recording sounds “beefier” than I’d expect for Sora. Also, the only Sora calls I’ve recorded have been the “ker-wee” calls, no whinnies. Have you tried searching Xeno-Canto for other Whimbrel examples that might be a better match?
Am I off on this one? Other thoughts?
On May 8, 2015, at 5:53 PM, Geoff Malosh <pomar...@earthlink.net> wrote:
Chris and all,
Yes, at least one other person out here has a microphone turned on. In fact during the overnight hours of May 4 here in suburban Pittsburgh I picked up a call that appears to be a Sora “whinnying” as it passed overhead. The recording is attached, because there are a few things I am unsure about it and would certainly appreciate any opinions. First, the call is somewhat strange because it is more or less all on one pitch, rather than rapidly rising in pitch and gradually descending like a typical Sora whinny call. I was also curious to know whether Soras are known to whinny while on nocturnal migration. I assume there is no reason why they couldn’t, but wasn’t sure if it’s more typical for them to give a different call while on passage.
I discussed with a few others and the only other possibility we came up with is a very early Whimbrel, but this seems unlikely by the messy start to the call sequence (which is more like Sora) and the fact that, to my ear at least, the “voice” of each note isn’t quite right for Whimbrel, but does match Sora well enough, including on the spectrogram.
Anyway, any input on whether this could be something other than a Sora would be appreciated.
Thanks very much,
Geoff Malosh | Editor, Pennsylvania Birds
450 Amherst Avenue | Moon Township, PA 15108-2654 | 412.735.3128
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I finally set up my personal flowerpot microphone on the roof in Etna, NY, yesterday evening, and then conducted my first overnight recording of the spring.
In general, it was fairly uneventful and quiet, with the exception of the Spring Peeper chorus, periodic trilling American Toads, and occasional calling Gray Treefrog.
In the Fingerlakes area of Upstate, NY, we are seeing a nearly unprecedented early leaf-out, or at least a leaf-out we haven’t seen this early in probably over a decade. This will make for interesting and sometimes challenging daytime birding, because so many more food resources are available as the bulk of migrants move through our region.
OK, onto the night recording. Early this morning, I quickly scanned through the recording from last night with the following notables, in no particular order:
Ovenbird (2 NFCs, 1 song)
White Throated Sparrow (5+ NFCs)
HF Sparrow seet (1 NFC)
Indigo Bunting (2 NFCs, 1 song, one of the NFC’s was a really nice clear call)
Wood Thrush (2 NFCs, 1 song - definite singer in flight, not from ground, which I think is a first for me as a singing flyover)
Common Yellowthroats (5 NFCs, 3 songs)
Chipping Sparrow (10+ NFCs, 7 songs - local bird triggered into song by flyover NFCs)
Least Sandpiper (1 “kreeeet” series of calls)
Spotted Sandpiper (3-4 call sequences, possible local bird)
Virginia Rail (1 “k-kreeer" call)
Green Heron (4 “keow!” calls)
Baltimore Oriole (1 in-flight song)
Tree Swallow (dawn flight calls)
Canada Warbler (1 NFC)
Savannah Sparrow (4 NFCs)
Warbler sp (8 NFCs)
Song Sparrows (5+ songs, probably local birds)
It’s good to be listening and recording at night again!
Has anyone else out there been motivated to start recording or listening. What are you hearing?
Christopher T. Tessaglia-Hymes
Field Applications Engineer
Bioacoustics Research Program, Cornell Lab of Ornithology
159 Sapsucker Woods Road, Ithaca, New York 14850
W: 607-254-2418 M: 607-351-5740 F: 607-254-1132
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