[cayugabirds-l] Yellow-billed Cuckoo again

2014-06-08 Thread Geo Kloppel
I was in Rochester yesterday, but back at home this morning, and still have a 
Yellow-billed Cuckoo calling. The call is a harsh throaty Kowp Kowp 
Kowp Kowp Kowp Kowp Kowp Kowp

I had decided that I just couldn't describe the differentiation of Black-billed 
and Yellow-billed Cuckoo calls as John requested, but regarding _this_ 
particular call, I listen for the differences between hard C and harder K, 
and between a mellow oo and a raspy hollow owp.  (this just breaks down a 
transliteration found in some field guides; I'm not asserting that it should be 
meaningful to anyone other than me)

Out the window right now, I'm watching a pair of Great-crested Flycatchers 
gathering nest material from the garden!

My responses to Richard's Mockingbird questions:

 1, How large a collection of different sounds can one bird make?

The brain's the limit!

 2. I recognize some of the sounds. Would a cardinal be confused in hearing 
 his call?

Perhaps momentarily, but the Mockingbird's habit of varying the calls, and 
delivering each one in triplicate, quickly gives the game away

 3. Are the sonograms of a mockingbird and a cardinal about the same, or can 
 you tell them apart.

I'm not up on sonograms, but I assume they can be drawn at various resolutions, 
and that a low-res similarity would break down at sufficiently high resolution.

 4. Mockingbirds migrate. Can you tell where they spent the winter by the 
 songs they sing?

I had a Catbird around home one summer who sang chuck-wills-widow. I couldn't 
say _where_ he learned that, but l don't think he made it up!

 5. Do mockingbirds make calls of predators like owls or hawks?

Yes.

-Geo Kloppel


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[cayugabirds-l] Osprey interaction

2014-06-08 Thread Karen Edelstein
Last night, during our sunset walk at Salt Point in Lansing, Joe and I got
some nice views of the osprey pair sharing a fish on the platform edge.
When we were ready to leave (it was getting quite dark by then) one osprey
was down incubating presumably while the other stayed alert on the perch
(ha-ha... fish or pole or both). Some movement along the outside of the
nest caught Joe's attention.  Although the light was terrible, I could see
a long, twitching tail with a slight notch and very quick movements.  Blue
gray gnatcatcher I'm guessing.  The little bird and the big osprey had to
have been aware of each other but unbothered by each other's presence. The
little bird worked its way around the edge and then into the nest itself
before it got too dark to see anymore.
What was going on? Gleaning bugs?  Anyone else seen this? Could it have
been some species other than gnatcatcher?

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[cayugabirds-l] Mimicking bird

2014-06-08 Thread Meena Madhav Haribal
Hi all,

My neighbor has a pet mimickingbird, I don't know what species it is. But daily 
morning from 4.30 to 5.15 am or so it mimics various calls and also I it has 
its own song I think. I would have to like it recorded but unfortunately my 
recorder was full. I did not feel like getting up to find for a new micor sd 
card.  But I listened to him while lying in the bed.



About mimicry:



He has one song which he repeats very often that is  po po witch sometimes 
uttered slowly sometimes fast. Then he does variety of mimicking from these I 
could recognize some of my yard birds

1. Cardinal which he does only talk to me, talk to me

2. Tufted Titmouse which he does only CFCU'

3. Catbird (my ex) meow' or jump a teak or teag

4. House Wren a jumble I cannot translate into words



I am yet to recognize other birds.  Now in the yard variety of baby bird calls 
of starlings, grackles and American Robin are being heard, I would like to know 
if he picks any of those.



He sings in the evening but not so elaborately!



But none of these mimicries are perfect, but you can say that they are very 
close.



Cheers

Meena



Meena Haribal
Ithaca NY 14850
42.429007,-76.47111
http://haribal.org/
http://meenaharibal.blogspot.com/



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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Mockingbirds on our house

2014-06-08 Thread Mike Pitzrick
Hi Richard,

The range map for Northern Mockingbird in *Birds of North America*
indicates that they breed as far north as southern Ontario, and are
permanent residents as far north as Watertown, NY.  Regarding migratory
habits, BNA says it is

Not well understood. Reported to be partly migratory in northern portion of
 range, but at least some individuals remain in winter at northern limits of
 breeding range. Perceptions of status could be affected by reduced
 visibility of mockingbirds during winter.


About the number of songs types one bird can make,

The vocal repertoires of individual males have been estimated to be as low
 as 45 and as high as 203 song types ... Song types appear to be added
 continuously to the vocal repertoire, suggesting that an individual bird
 may not have an upper limit to its repertoire.


The BNA account does not appear to address the issue of the fidelity of
mimicry, so I will venture into the realm of my own impressions of how
mockingbird mimicry can be distinguished from the songs of birds they
imitate.  I would welcome commentary from others who have similar or
different impressions.

BNA mention that

Mockingbirds typically repeat one song type several times before switching
 to another. Songs are presented in “bouts,” with each bout consisting of
 repetitions of only one song type. Song types of short duration are
 repeated more often within a bout than are longer song types


This suggests one of the cues that might clue me into the fact that I'm
hearing an imitation of a cardinal song rather than a real cardinal song.
The mockingbird is likely to make several identical repetitions of the same
cardinal song in a pretty short time frame.

Beyond that, it appears to me that while many aspects of the cardinal song
are faithfully reproduced to my ear, there are definitely alterations.  To
me, a real cardinal song has more dynamic range, more change in pitch, more
variety between repetitions of the same song, more variability in song
length, etc.

To anthropomorphize, when I hear a real cardinal, I sometimes form a mental
image of an opera singer.  I hear years of voice lessons.  Each note is
milked for every possible ounce of melodrama and emotion.  I can almost see
the exaggerated facial expressions.

The mockingbird reminds me more of an advanced beginner pianist.  The
repertoire is getting to be quite large and increasing every week, but each
of the pieces is of similar length because it gets boiled down to a single
page in the piano lesson book.  The performance is lacking in dynamic
range, change of tempo, and creativity.  Each repetition is rendered
mechanically and identically.  My impression is that of a rote performance.

Does this ring true for other observers?

Richard, I'm guessing you would really enjoy reading The Singing Life of
Birds
http://www.amazon.com/The-Singing-Life-Birds-Listening/dp/0618840761/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8qid=1402234001sr=8-1keywords=kroodsma
by Donald Kroodsma.  The book discusses Northern Mockingbird among other
species, comes with a CD, and is full of sonograms.

-Mike


On Sat, Jun 7, 2014 at 8:25 AM, Richard Tkachuck rictkal...@gmail.com
wrote:

 A mockingbird has selected our house as a place to display his wide
 variety of sounds from early morning until the sun sets. This has raised
 some questions.
 1, How large a collection of different sounds can one bird make?
 2. I recognize some of the sounds. Would a cardinal be confused in hearing
 his call?
 3. Are the sonograms of a mockingbird and a cardinal about the same, or
 can you tell them apart.
 4. Mockingbirds migrate. Can you tell where they spent the winter by the
 songs they sing?
 5. Do mockingbirds make calls of predators like owls or hawks?

 Thanks,
 Richard Tkachuck
 --


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[cayugabirds-l] First osprey egg at Salt Point hatches

2014-06-08 Thread Candace Cornell
Yesterday morning, after 38 days of incubation, the first osprey egg at
Salt Point hatched. I suspect there are two more eggs on the way, but it is
purely a guess. The Baltimore Orioles around the osprey platform serenaded
the new chick and it was a wonderful day at the point.

I would like to sincerely thank everyone who kept an eye out for the first
osprey egg and all the osprey nests in the basin. We are very fortunate to
have such a great generous group of birders willing to help each other.

With gratitude,
Candace

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RE: [cayugabirds-l] Mockingbirds on our house

2014-06-08 Thread Wesley M. Hochachka
Hi all,

   The idea of identifying winter ranges from songs that are mimicked is neat, 
and while it may not work for Northern Mockingbirds, it possibly could be used 
for other species.  I know of only a single person who ever tried doing this 
(there could easily be more…I don’t know the song literature at all), and he 
was trying to identify where the few Marsh Warblers that nest in England spend 
the winter in Africa.  As best I know, that part of the student’s research 
never came to fruition.
   As an aside, if you’ve got a few minutes, you can listen to Marsh Warbler 
recordings either at the Macaulay Library (a bird mimicking at least Great Tit, 
Barn Swallow, Skylark, House Sparrow, and Chiffchaff: 
http://macaulaylibrary.org/audio/71611), or a marathon song session at 
xeno-canto: http://www.xeno-canto.org/135647 .  I find it interesting that 
these two mimics (mockingbirds and Marsh Warblers), although not at all closely 
related, some roughly the same sort of song quality: jarring, abrupt notes with 
very few whistles.

   Oh, and while mockingbirds can have repertoires of a couple hundred song 
types, these are not necessarily all mimicked songs of other species, but just 
recognizable and repeated phrases.  “Sampled” sounds from other species just 
happen to be part of the mix of phrases that the birds can use.

Wesley



From: bounce-116224129-3494...@list.cornell.edu 
[mailto:bounce-116224129-3494...@list.cornell.edu] On Behalf Of Mike Pitzrick
Sent: Sunday, June 08, 2014 9:40 AM
To: Richard Tkachuck
Cc: CAYUGABIRDS-L
Subject: Re: [cayugabirds-l] Mockingbirds on our house

Hi Richard,
The range map for Northern Mockingbird in Birds of North America indicates that 
they breed as far north as southern Ontario, and are permanent residents as far 
north as Watertown, NY.  Regarding migratory habits, BNA says it is
Not well understood. Reported to be partly migratory in northern portion of 
range, but at least some individuals remain in winter at northern limits of 
breeding range. Perceptions of status could be affected by reduced visibility 
of mockingbirds during winter.

About the number of songs types one bird can make,
The vocal repertoires of individual males have been estimated to be as low as 
45 and as high as 203 song types ... Song types appear to be added continuously 
to the vocal repertoire, suggesting that an individual bird may not have an 
upper limit to its repertoire.

The BNA account does not appear to address the issue of the fidelity of 
mimicry, so I will venture into the realm of my own impressions of how 
mockingbird mimicry can be distinguished from the songs of birds they imitate.  
I would welcome commentary from others who have similar or different 
impressions.

BNA mention that
Mockingbirds typically repeat one song type several times before switching to 
another. Songs are presented in “bouts,” with each bout consisting of 
repetitions of only one song type. Song types of short duration are repeated 
more often within a bout than are longer song types

This suggests one of the cues that might clue me into the fact that I'm hearing 
an imitation of a cardinal song rather than a real cardinal song.  The 
mockingbird is likely to make several identical repetitions of the same 
cardinal song in a pretty short time frame.

Beyond that, it appears to me that while many aspects of the cardinal song are 
faithfully reproduced to my ear, there are definitely alterations.  To me, a 
real cardinal song has more dynamic range, more change in pitch, more variety 
between repetitions of the same song, more variability in song length, etc.

To anthropomorphize, when I hear a real cardinal, I sometimes form a mental 
image of an opera singer.  I hear years of voice lessons.  Each note is milked 
for every possible ounce of melodrama and emotion.  I can almost see the 
exaggerated facial expressions.

The mockingbird reminds me more of an advanced beginner pianist.  The 
repertoire is getting to be quite large and increasing every week, but each of 
the pieces is of similar length because it gets boiled down to a single page in 
the piano lesson book.  The performance is lacking in dynamic range, change of 
tempo, and creativity.  Each repetition is rendered mechanically and 
identically.  My impression is that of a rote performance.
Does this ring true for other observers?
Richard, I'm guessing you would really enjoy reading The Singing Life of 
Birdshttp://www.amazon.com/The-Singing-Life-Birds-Listening/dp/0618840761/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8qid=1402234001sr=8-1keywords=kroodsma
 by Donald Kroodsma.  The book discusses Northern Mockingbird among other 
species, comes with a CD, and is full of sonograms.

-Mike

On Sat, Jun 7, 2014 at 8:25 AM, Richard Tkachuck 
rictkal...@gmail.commailto:rictkal...@gmail.com wrote:
A mockingbird has selected our house as a place to display his wide variety of 
sounds from early morning until the sun sets. This has raised some questions.
1, How large 

RE: [cayugabirds-l] Osprey interaction

2014-06-08 Thread Bill Mcaneny
At Sunken Meadow S.P. on L.I., there was a House Finch pair nesting in the
lower level of an Osprey's nest.

Bill McAneny

 

  _  

From: bounce-116224047-7495...@list.cornell.edu
[mailto:bounce-116224047-7495...@list.cornell.edu] On Behalf Of Karen
Edelstein
Sent: Sunday, June 08, 2014 7:51 AM
To: cayugabirds-l@cornell.edu
Cc: Candace Cornell
Subject: [cayugabirds-l] Osprey interaction

 

Last night, during our sunset walk at Salt Point in Lansing, Joe and I got
some nice views of the osprey pair sharing a fish on the platform edge.
When we were ready to leave (it was getting quite dark by then) one osprey
was down incubating presumably while the other stayed alert on the perch
(ha-ha... fish or pole or both). Some movement along the outside of the nest
caught Joe's attention.  Although the light was terrible, I could see a
long, twitching tail with a slight notch and very quick movements.  Blue
gray gnatcatcher I'm guessing.  The little bird and the big osprey had to
have been aware of each other but unbothered by each other's presence. The
little bird worked its way around the edge and then into the nest itself
before it got too dark to see anymore.  
What was going on? Gleaning bugs?  Anyone else seen this? Could it have been
some species other than gnatcatcher?

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Re: [cayugabirds-l] Osprey interaction

2014-06-08 Thread Carol Keeler
When I used to photograph the Bald Eagles at Mud Lock, I saw House Sparrows 
within the Eagle's nest as well, so I wasn't too surprised to hear that they do 
it to Ospreys as well.  I'm glad to hear that the sparrows may provide some 
benefit to the Ospreys, as well.  I hate the House Sparrows because they are so 
aggressive at the feeders and hog the bird houses. I tolerate them because they 
eat lots of bugs in my gardens and yard.  I've never had an insect problem 
because the birds take care of them.  

Sent from my iPad

 On Jun 8, 2014, at 9:43 AM, Candace Cornell cec...@gmail.com wrote:
 
 There is a family of house sparrows nesting with the ospreys again this year 
 at Salt Point. My Salt Point On Osprey Time blog #11 
 (http://www.lansingrec.com/parks/20-salt-point/salt-point-articles/27-on-osprey-time)
  address this, but it has not been posted yet as our web master is in 
 Finland.  
 
 The fish-eating ospreys tolerate other species such as the sparrows, tree 
 swallows, starlings, and others to nest near them, usually under the 
 platform. It's probably some form of mutalism, but it has not been studied. 
 The smaller birds probably keep the nest cleaner with less ecoparasites for 
 the osprey to contend with. In exchange, the smaller bird get a sturdy 
 structure to build a nest on and the (passive) protection of the osprey 
 against predators. 
 
 I wish it had been a gnatcatcher. The house sparrows are ravishing the Salt 
 Point nest boxes, destroying the bluebird and tree swallow eggs that were 
 doing so well. 
 
 Candace
 
 
 On Sun, Jun 8, 2014 at 7:50 AM, Karen Edelstein k...@cornell.edu wrote:
 Last night, during our sunset walk at Salt Point in Lansing, Joe and I got 
 some nice views of the osprey pair sharing a fish on the platform edge.  
 When we were ready to leave (it was getting quite dark by then) one osprey 
 was down incubating presumably while the other stayed alert on the perch 
 (ha-ha... fish or pole or both). Some movement along the outside of the nest 
 caught Joe's attention.  Although the light was terrible, I could see a 
 long, twitching tail with a slight notch and very quick movements.  Blue 
 gray gnatcatcher I'm guessing.  The little bird and the big osprey had to 
 have been aware of each other but unbothered by each other's presence. The 
 little bird worked its way around the edge and then into the nest itself 
 before it got too dark to see anymore.  
 What was going on? Gleaning bugs?  Anyone else seen this? Could it have been 
 some species other than gnatcatcher?
 
 
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[cayugabirds-l] Ct Hill - no Protho

2014-06-08 Thread Suan Yong
Seven of us explored Connecticut Hill this morning for the CBC field trip. No 
prothonotary, nor in fact any of the highlights from scouting (I should stop 
scouting before trips, as they always seem to find more stuff than the actual 
trip :-). But we did get good scope looks at a cooperative chestnut sided 
warbler, and came across a displaying and ruffed grouse on the road. We heard 
many least flycatchers, a few alder flycatchers, black-throated blue, redstart, 
ovenbird, yellowthroat, creeper, indigo bunting, and other usuals.

Thanks to all who came, and to Dave for being our trail guide.

Suan
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http://suan-yong.com
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[cayugabirds-l] Montezuma and Vicinity: K-M Marsh, Armitage Road. Seneca Meadows.

2014-06-08 Thread David Nicosia
Started at K-M Marsh from East Road around noon. As expected lighting was
bad
but clouds helped to some extent. Most of the shorebirds were distant and
in the
shimmer which again, as expected, was really bad. Notable, but not rare
birds, were
a single CASPIAN TERN loafing with the lingering waterfowl. Same bird as
last week?
There was also a GREATER YELLOWLEGS closer to the west edge of the marsh in
the weedy area. Again, same bird as last week? I also heard and then found
a male adult ORCHARD ORIOLE singing from the top of a willow by the edge of
the marsh.

Next stop was Armitage Road. PROTHONOTARY WARBLERS were the highlight.The
nest hole
is easily seen from the road and I saw the female go in. The male was in
close proximity and at one time was dive bombing a poor AMERICAN ROBIN who
was innocently perched on the top of the dead tree stump just above the
nest hole. I also heard a NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH singing and singing. Same
location as a week or so ago. I assume this is a breeder or at least a
singing male on territory. This is a very interesting place where birds of
northern affinities meet southern birds. CERULEAN WARBLERS are fairly
common here. I also heard a YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO calling.  Near the bridge,
to the left in the woods across the river, I heard what I believe was an
ACADIAN FLYCATCHER. The song was pretty apparent... pit see!!!  But it was
distant and I heard it only twice so I can't be certain.

Next stop was Seneca Meadows. There was nothing unusual. Highlight was baby
KILLDEER along the path and in the gravel parking lot.   Also spoke with
the Field Biologist there, Mike McGraw?? and he mentioned that he has one
singing GRASSHOPPER SPARROW down there.

Then I stopped back at East Road with better lighting, less shimmer and
thicker clouds. The shorebirds got closer at times and I was finally able
to pick out a WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER among the many SEMIPALMATED
SANDPIPERS. The bird clearly had a longer primary projection, finer more
even mottling down to the flank, white supercilium. It was also bigger,
especially at the shoulders or upper wing area. Then when it flushed, the
white-rump was easily seen. I also picked out one LEAST SANDPIPER with its
darker brown plumage, slightly curved bill and of course lighter legs.
 Then I had a late SOLITARY SANDPIPER which was taking a bath at first.
There were also SPOTTED SANDPIPERS,and KILLDEER as expected, and many
SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS. 3 BLACK BELLIED PLOVERS including 2 gorgeous adult
breeding plumage birds and one that was either a female or one still in
molt, 1 SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER, atlantic race, as the orangish-red did not
extend all the way to the tail.  I also had a breeding plumage DUNLIN and 1
basic plumage DUNLIN with no evidence of any black at all on the under
belly, a first summer bird??  The GREATER YELLOWLEGS of earlier in the day
was still present almost in the same spot and also in the weedier areas I
found a late LESSER YELLOWLEGS too. For this late date, I had 12 species of
shorebirds. I also wonder if some of these birds (yellowlegs, SOSA) will
linger into the summer and merge with the fall migration of shorebirds
that begins in just a few weeks!

The CASPIAN TERN also was still present with numerous BLACK TERNS. Will
this CASPIAN linger into July and eventually be joined by southbound CATE??
Lingering or breeding waterfowl included both species of teal, shovelers,
gadwall, and american wigeon. I also heard another YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO
from the woods by Towpath road. The ORCHARD ORIOLE was also singing away
from the same willow that I had him earlier.

I could not re-locate any phalaropes but I probably just missed them.

Dave Nicosia

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Re:[cayugabirds-l] Mulholland Pileated Nest III

2014-06-08 Thread Suan Yong
Saw a young pileated this evening in the cavity described below, not quite yet 
sticking its neck out to explore the world. Did not wait around for a feeding. 
Looks like this is the week to start seeing some action. Beware the wood 
nettles covering the forest floor.  Direction of hole favors morning light for 
photographers.

Asian

 On May 23, 2014, at 10:17 AM, Suan Hsi Yong suan.y...@gmail.com wrote:
 
 For an incredible third consecutive year I've stumbled across a pileated 
 nesthole at the Mulholland Wildflower Preserve. The bird alerted me with its 
 squawking as I jogged past, looked at me nervously for a long moment before 
 popping into the hole. I did not hear baby noises, so I assume it is still 
 incubating.
 
 This nest is a longer walk from the parking lot than the last two years, 
 perhaps a mile in, but the hole is still conveniently visible from the trail. 
 Continue past the short stretch of narrow trail along the exposed water pipe 
 by the steep slope on the left into the next basin. When the trail forks, 
 take the left (straight) trail. Soon this trail will take a slight dip next 
 to another short stretch of exposed water pipe. Before crossing this dip, 
 take note of the large dead tree on your left: this is the nest tree, and the 
 hole faces forward parallel to the trail. Continue walking across the dip to 
 the other side and turn around for a view. The hole is partway up the left 
 fork of the dead tree. It is relatively low and should make for good 
 viewing/photos, though it is under thick canopy.
 
 If anyone else checks out this nest, I would appreciate hearing updates on 
 any activities observed.
 
 Suan
 
 PS. Speaking of baby noises, they're starting to come out. On Giles St today 
 was a really loud trill of what I'm guessing (without binoculars) was a 
 junco-fostered cowbird, and downtown a fledgling house sparrow followed its 
 foraging father. Yesterday at Sapsucker Woods I heard some baby noises from a 
 cavity off the trail south of the Podell boardwalk.

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