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CA - San Francisco bird news by date

Updated on July 7, 2020, 6:50 pm

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07 Jul: @ 18:40:51 
Mtn Lake -- Red-eyed Vireo (continues?) [Daniel Scali]
07 Jul: @ 14:26:01 
Fort Mason Local Interest - Golden Crowned Sparrow [David Assmann via groups.io]
06 Jul: @ 22:51:20 
San Francisco Cumulative List Update - June 2020 [H Cotter]
06 Jul: @ 14:51:13 
July Oddities [Brian Fitch]
05 Jul: @ 17:57:53 
Parakeet Auklet continues 7/5 [Kevin Gin]
03 Jul: @ 20:17:16 
Parakeet Auklet HERMIT rock [David Nelson]
02 Jul: @ 19:01:16 
7/2 Swainson's thrush [Bob Hall]
02 Jul: @ 09:12:15 
American White Pelicans at Crissy [David Assmann via groups.io]
01 Jul: @ 14:17:00 
American Redstart [Chris Vance]
01 Jul: @ 02:04:46 
Young Red-tail Up Close [Richard Bradus via groups.io]
30 Jun: @ 23:32:39 
Mountain Lake American Redstart Reverie - CORRECTION [Daniel Scali]
30 Jun: @ 17:31:36 
Gull "Colony" in Mission Bay District [Stephen Schulz via groups.io]
30 Jun: @ 17:21:00 
Re: Baby Lawrence's Goldfinch - eBird Hotspot [Richard Bradus via groups.io]
30 Jun: @ 16:02:59 
Re: Baby Lawrence's Goldfinch [Daniel Scali]
30 Jun: @ 09:51:25 
American Redstart still at Mountain Lake [Evleen]
29 Jun: @ 22:14:19 
Mountain Lake American Redstart Reverie [Daniel Scali]
28 Jun: @ 18:16:35 
Terns & Shorebirds, 6/28/20, etc. [Paul Saraceni]
28 Jun: @ 16:11:07 
Mystery song/thread closed [Dominik Mosur]
28 Jun: @ 15:13:08 
Mystery song [nagra.ivs]
28 Jun: @ 08:47:04 
Mount Sutro Parula, singing Swainson's [angie geiger]
26 Jun: @ 12:55:21 
Re: Lawrence's Goldfinch family In Presidio - new (old) hotspot [Richard Bradus via groups.io]
26 Jun: @ 10:59:27 
Re: Baby Lawrence's Goldfinch [Bob Hall]
26 Jun: @ 10:34:58 
Lawrence’s Goldfinches still present [David Assmann via groups.io]
26 Jun: @ 09:47:31 
Re: Baby Lawrence's Goldfinch [Joe Morlan]
26 Jun: @ 00:03:30 
Re: Mystery song [Eddie Monson]
26 Jun: @ 00:03:05 
Re: Mystery song [karul2]
25 Jun: @ 23:58:08 
Re: Lawrence's Goldfinch family In Presidio [Mike Carozza]
25 Jun: @ 23:31:43 
Speaking of Rajan's copulating American Redstarts and Lee, Lee, and Aaron's post-copulating Lawrence's Goldfinches, Mt. Sutro is also going off! [Daniel Scali]
25 Jun: @ 23:25:46 
Re: Baby Lawrence's Goldfinch [Sam _]
25 Jun: @ 21:42:38 
Baby Lawrence's Goldfinch [Aaron Maizlish]
25 Jun: @ 21:39:31 
Re: Mystery song [nagra.ivs]
25 Jun: @ 21:27:38 
Re: Lawrence's Goldfinch family In Presidio [Lee-Hong Chang via groups.io]
25 Jun: @ 18:41:53 
Re: Mystery song [rich815]
25 Jun: @ 18:23:32 
Re: Mystery song [Brian Fitch]
25 Jun: @ 17:21:41 
Re: Parakeet auklet on shipwreck rock now . . . [Joel Perlstein]
25 Jun: @ 17:10:02 
Re: Mystery song [Chris Okon]
25 Jun: @ 14:55:24 
Re: Lawrence's Goldfinch family In Presidio [Aaron Maizlish]
25 Jun: @ 14:53:12 
Lawrence's Goldfinch family In Presidio [Lee-Hong Chang via groups.io]
25 Jun: @ 14:10:40 
Re: Mystery song [nagra.ivs]
25 Jun: @ 13:21:37 
Re: Mystery song [Alvaro Jaramillo]
25 Jun: @ 12:56:14 
Re: Mystery song [Richard Bradus via groups.io]
25 Jun: @ 00:16:24 
Re: Mystery song [Nico Stuurman]
24 Jun: @ 23:44:30 
Re: Mystery song [Brian Fitch]
24 Jun: @ 19:52:28 
Re: Mystery song [Daniel Scali]
24 Jun: @ 17:57:09 
Re: Mystery song [Eddie Monson]
24 Jun: @ 17:50:38 
Singing Warbling Vireo [Daniel Scali]
24 Jun: @ 17:43:17 
Re: Mystery song [Daniel Scali]
24 Jun: @ 17:05:07 
Re: Mystery song [John Sterling]
24 Jun: @ 17:01:48 
Re: Mystery song [Alvaro Jaramillo]
24 Jun: @ 16:51:24 
Re: Mystery song [Frank Fogarty]





Subject: Mtn Lake -- Red-eyed Vireo (continues?)
Date: Tue Jul 7 2020 18:40 pm
From: daniel.s.scali AT gmail.com
 
Hey bird fanatics,

Let me start by reminding folks to use caution when viewing in the Redstart nest area. It's a wonderful thing to have all these m.o.b.s (many observant birders) and curious passersby but if we stress the breeding pair or attract corvid attention or other predators it seems less likely that they will return to the lake in the future or tell their friends about it.

I headed to Mountain Lake early to check on the American Redstarts. I started out by the playground and was perplexed to hear the now familiar male's song coming both from across the lake to the north and from the south side. A little while later I confirmed one AMRE moving in a Monterey cypress south of the lake. Over in the Redstart territory, the male consistently sang near the nest for a good bit while Dave Webster and I enjoyed looks at the female, who left the nest once or twice. A really nice guy named Al came by walking his dog. He'd heard all the vagrant hullabaloo and lamented not having his bins. He was an old school hawk guy who said he'd been fortunate to pal around with birders like Dan Murphy and Joe Morlan back in the day. The male bird had been silent since before Al arrived; he left after 30 minutes of no luck. When the bird finally returned he passed an insect to his mate ” his tendency toward lengthy sojourns could explain the earlier sighting across the water.
Bob Gunderson arrived and some other birders followed, including Pat Wong and a Michelle. The male was seen by all and photographed in good light. As Pat's group was disappearing around the bend, I heard what sounded like a purple finch coming from the willows, only the song was a "self song," the quieter kind one hears from solitary birds. I had never heard that from purple finch before, plus the notes started taking on a slightly different quality, more disjointed, vireo-like. I got on the large RED-EYED VIREO (one was had by Mark Dettling and then Rajan on June18) for two seconds before it blended back into its surroundings. While Bob tried to get pics I was able to get a nice long recording (audio here:https://ebird.org/checklist/S7... Moy rolled up next and said the recording was good for REVI. The vireo reappeared infrequently over the next hour or more but was tough to pin down with so many birds, such as Hutton's Vireo, house and purple finches, and European starlings, making somewhat similar sounds. I finally made peace with the lack of a photo, leaving the work to a pair of young birders who were tackling the Redstarts as I pried myself from the lake's grip.
Who said summer is boring!?Dan Scali, SF

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Subject: Fort Mason Local Interest - Golden Crowned Sparrow
Date: Tue Jul 7 2020 14:26 pm
From: david_assmann=yahoo.com AT groups.io
 
The surprise bird today at Fort Mason was a GOLDEN CROWNED SPARROW sitting on the north fence of the garden - must be an oversummering bird that has managed to elude observation the last few months. A PACIFIC SLOPE FLYCATCHER also was in the garden - probably an early dispersing bird. A WHITE-THROATED SWIFT flew by a few times. There were three young HOODED ORIOLES in and around the garden - observed one flying south up the hill which made me wonder if they fly back and forth to Lafayette Park. The WESTERN BLUEBIRDS have successfully fledged young - the first bluebirds to fledge at this location since I started birding at Fort Mason.

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Subject: San Francisco Cumulative List Update - June 2020
Date: Mon Jul 6 2020 22:51 pm
From: chatwren AT gmail.com
 
All,I was asked recently about whether I was still doing the cumulative list for San Francisco. I have some issues with the website where it is located in recent months but finally have the site back and with an updated cumulative list through June of 2020. 

The list is located at sfbirds.net

The cumulative total for the City for 2020 stands at 250 species (including one species pair) - the joint highest total ever at this stage of the year.

In 2018 we also had 250 species at the end of June and ended up with a final total of 301 species- the highest number since I started the list in 1998.

2020 started off relatively quiet but it was a pretty special April and May with some exceptional highlights and it will be interesting to see how the rest of the year goes from here.

The City species list overall stands at a tentative 427 species; the County list stands at 492 species.

I hope to keep updating on a more regular basis as the year moves along.

Hugh




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Subject: July Oddities
Date: Mon Jul 6 2020 14:51 pm
From: fogeggs AT gmail.com
 
After spending some days in saner parts of the state, I hit the city today, with a multi-hour seawatch and a check on North Lake.
The diffuse fog haze made distant viewing tough, and all of the interesting birds were distant. The highlight was a splotchy tubenose that glided by just over the waves heading north, nearly leading me to make a report for the sake of anyone watching from Marin and beyond. But luckily I held back, and the bird reappeared for a second, closer pass 15 minutes later, revealing that it was a very mottled Northern Fulmar, splatter-plumaged like a Pollock painting, white and brownish gray in equal amounts. Just as on the first pass, it flew with a stiff-winged glide and vanished among the waves heading north. I can't recall ever seeing a fulmar here in July, but I'm pretty certain it's not unprecedented. Several Elegant Terns were out, and also an ambitious Pigeon Guillemot carrying a fish nearly as big as its white wing patch.

At North Lake, there was an apparent Warbling Vireo on the west side across from the northernmost island. WAVI's aren't regular in SF in July, though I know there's been one singing in the arboretum for a while. It was feeding frenetically enough to not allow me a good view, and after 10 minutes it vanished. It caught my attention because even though it looked mostly like a Warbling, with olive back and no wing bars, the facial marks were strange, with the feathers puffed out such that it appeared to lack any marks around the eye, but which also made it look as if it could have had an eyering. But what got me excited for the second time in the morning was that it pumped its tail a couple of times. It was completely silent, not even scolding when a pair of Hutton's came near. It may only be a Warbling that had just taken a bath, but it was intriguing.

There was no sign of the Hooded Warbler when I passed by the golf course edge.
Brian Fitch




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Subject: Parakeet Auklet continues 7/5
Date: Sun Jul 5 2020 17:57 pm
From: kevinagin AT gmail.com
 
The Parakeet Auklet continued today, 7/5. Seen at around 2:00pm near shore not far from Hermit Rock. I watched it there for about 10 minutes before it circled and landed on the back side of Hermit Rock.

https://ebird.org/checklist/S7...

Kevin Gin
San Jose

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Subject: Parakeet Auklet HERMIT rock
Date: Fri Jul 3 2020 20:17 pm
From: David AT mpadesign.com
 
PAAU landed west of Hermit Rock at 17:45 and is still on the water at 18:13. Seen by Tan Snyder, Kris Dunlap , David W. Nelson and others.

Good Birding!

David W. Nelson

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Subject: 7/2 Swainson's thrush
Date: Thu Jul 2 2020 19:01 pm
From: bilgepump100 AT sbcglobal.net
 
Had one still singing at Mountain Lake today. Seems late and interesting.

Nothing rare but lots of bird and butterfly action (and tranquility) at Sutro Rotary Meadows today. May be a good escape hatch during the crowded holiday festivities.
--
Bob Hall
San Francisco, CA
"There is no better high than discovery." - E.O. Wilson

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Subject: American White Pelicans at Crissy
Date: Thu Jul 2 2020 9:12 am
From: david_assmann=yahoo.com AT groups.io
 
Six just flew in and landed

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Subject: American Redstart
Date: Wed Jul 1 2020 14:17 pm
From: giantscv55 AT gmail.com
 
Heard singing and seen on mtn. Lake trail 50 ft. north of mulched indentation. Seen on dried up Elderberry. Still singing on west side of trail. 
Chris Vance

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Subject: Young Red-tail Up Close
Date: Wed Jul 1 2020 2:04 am
From: grizzledjay=yahoo.com AT groups.io
 
Well, I'm 0 for 2 for the "rare" birds over the last couple of days. By the time I made it out to the GGP golf course late this morning it had gotten pretty quiet, with no sign of the Hooded Warbler though there were counter-singing Pacific Wrens and Wilson's Warblers and the rather vocal Red-tail family that bred here this spring.
So I decided to do my usual loop around the Bercut area - whoa! There's a whole new horse stables and enclosure adjacent to the maintenance area. Guess it's been too long since I've made the rounds. Continuing around and looping to the south I was stopped in my tracks by a (another) juvenile Red-tailed Hawk on the ground, right off the main paved path paralleling MLK Drive:

It proceeded to scrounge through the dried grass (looking for insects?) but all I saw it come up with was a blade of grass stuck in its beak. Eventually flushed into the adjacent trees by passing joggers, it clumsily flew from branch to branch a bit before eventually flying off to a more placid perch in a tree further off the path.
Nothing earthshaking, but a nice diversion nonetheless - one of my closest hawk encounters. More photos for those interested on my eBird checklist:https://ebird.org/checklist/S7...
Happy trails!
Richard BradusSan Francisco

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Subject: Mountain Lake American Redstart Reverie - CORRECTION
Date: Tue Jun 30 2020 23:32 pm
From: daniel.s.scali AT gmail.com
 
Bird fans,

It turns out there's a whole lot of data out there in the world, some of which doesn't pop up with a simple Google search :)

Peter Metropulos and Chris Heyward informed me of an Am Redstart breeding record from the 1997 San Mateo Co breeding bird atlas. Fledged young were 0 AMRE and I believe multiple Brown-headed Cowbirds. I wanted further details so I searched literature Peter and Chris referenced. In the National Aubdubon Society Field Notes Vol. 51, Issue 5 (winter) from 1997, it is reported that breeding evidence of American Redstart is easily obtainable in Humboldt and Del Norte counties. It then goes on to mention that that '97 summer had the first proven records of AMRE breeding in Marin, San Mateo, and Monterey counties. These were records obtained by the likes of Ron Thorn, Rich Stallcup, and Don Roberson.

Perhaps on the GGAS Chat forum (Dominik, is that the preferred discussion place?), other California field veterans could share any other pertinent Redstart info of the last 50 years.

All that said, I am 99.9% certain the Mtn Lake record is a first for SF county.

Good birding,
Dan
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Subject: Gull "Colony" in Mission Bay District
Date: Tue Jun 30 2020 17:31 pm
From: steveschulz1=yahoo.com AT groups.io
 
There is a large fenced in asphalt area where Mission Bay Blvd and Channel Street run into the traffic circle at Owens Street. Three pairs of Western Gulls have set up housekeeping and at least two of them have downy chicks wandering around. One doesn't get too many opportunities to observe this species at close range at that age, so it's a bit exciting.
There also is one pair evidently nesting on the roof of the eight story building across from where I live on Brannan St. I've seen copulation and nesting material being brought in. There is often on bird sitting on the corner of the roof, but I can't see onto the roof to verify what is actually happening there.
Be safe,Steve SchulzSan Francisco



Subject: Baby Lawrence's Goldfinch - eBird Hotspot
Date: Tue Jun 30 2020 17:21 pm
From: grizzledjay=yahoo.com AT groups.io
 
Fantastic!
I tried to do just that yesterday late afternoon, thinking that it would be easier with the absence of the fog and mist, but the ridiculously strong wind kept all the birds either in cover or flying by at extreme speed, though I did see and hear lots of House Finches, a Creeper, and the Barn Owls further to the west. After nearly an hour and a half of fruitless searching for the Lawrence's family, I finally heard about 45 seconds of the male doing two stanzas of his characteristic jumbled high pitched melange (from just to the east, in the restored "Western forest" area) but was unable to actually see him.
FYI - for those of you who have posted eBird checklists over the past week, especially those who used a personally marked spot or "Forest restoration area--Presidio" (and some of you who used the Julius Kahn Playground hotspot for convenience), please note that there is a newly approved particularly apt Hotspot for this area (the forest restoration area and the trails along W. Pacific Ave. and leading past Paul Goode Field to the north) called Presidio--Southeast. It can be easily found on the SF Hotspot map on eBird or see:https://ebird.org/hotspot/L748... you continue to visit this area, please submit checklists using this hotspot - and those of you who have submitted checklists under a personal spot or other location should be encouraged to re-designate their checklists under this hotspot as it will very much simplify the eventual process of data aggregation.
Thanks - and continued good sightings to all
Richard BradusSan Francisco







On Tuesday, June 30, 2020, 2:02:59 PM PDT, Daniel Scali <daniel.s.scali@gmail.com> wrote:





Hiya,To answer Bob's question, I noticed today that the area where the LAGOs have been most frequently seen is full of fiddlenecks, plants that I had heard LAGOs like. This morning I watched the stunning adult male visit multiple plant patches, chomping away on his favored parts.Dan



Subject: Baby Lawrence's Goldfinch
Date: Tue Jun 30 2020 16:02 pm
From: daniel.s.scali AT gmail.com
 
Hiya,

To answer Bob's question, I noticed today that the area where the LAGOs have been most frequently seen is full of fiddlenecks, plants that I had heard LAGOs like. This morning I watched the stunning adult male visit multiple plant patches, chomping away on his favored parts.

Dan

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Subject: American Redstart still at Mountain Lake
Date: Tue Jun 30 2020 9:51 am
From: evleensf AT gmail.com
 
I went there on Friday and it was still singing its little head off.  Was able to catch it in the act :)



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Subject: Mountain Lake American Redstart Reverie
Date: Mon Jun 29 2020 22:14 pm
From: daniel.s.scali AT gmail.com
 
Hello Birders,

With one week on the books the rambunctious immature male American Redstart continues to dance and sing its feathered heart out along the willow corridor extending north from Mountain Lake. A bevy of birders have stopped to look and listen; a few 1000 San Francisco humans and 100s of dogs have sidled by unaware. Thanks to Rajan Rao's keen observations, we learned that the true intended recipient of the young heroes aural affection is a female American Redstart (AMRE) of undetermined age (calling all molt experts).

Yesterday morning, Juan Garcia and I rounded the bend from the freeway underpass, heading south ” he had yet to visit the birds. It was quiet as we passed the willowy red elderberry patch where the youngster first sang to me in the afternoon of June 22. Then came a burst of warbler notes from the golf course side of the pathway. As we proceeded to try to get Juan visuals, we instead saw the OG AG (Angie Geiger) coming our way, having had good looks already before an agitated Robin sent the vocal Redstart in our direction. Over the next couple of minutes we teamed up to watch the show with two obviously separate AMREs moving about ” one singing and one silent. Angie and I then saw one of the birds dart south into the thicket, its yellow tail flashes a beacon as it settled upon its destination. Angie SAW THE NEST first, then we all watched in disbelief as our female hero disappeared and then reappeared with a thin thread of dry grass. We stayed a while longer to enjoy the spectacle.

This morning I went back for an update. The male continued to do his usual; the female continued work on the nest (At one point, Dave Assman happened on over).

This looks to be the first California breeding record for American Redstart outside of Humboldt County. Binford and Stallcup wrote about the 1972 Humboldt record in Western Birds (https://sora.unm.edu/node/1218... the parents were adult birds and produced nestlings. Likewise there is an adult breeding record on eBird from Ferndale Bottoms in Humboldt County in 2013. There is no information on eBird as to their success or failure and I did not find other data elsewhere. The young Mountain Lake pair have the odds stacked against them. As I'm sure we are all rooting for them, let's be very mindful about how we approach, witness, and document this extraordinary occurrence.

Infinite kudos to the Presidio Trust (and birders like Josaiah) for their incredible habitat restoration efforts.

Good birding,
Dan Scali, SF

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Subject: Terns & Shorebirds, 6/28/20, etc.
Date: Sun Jun 28 2020 18:16 pm
From: paulsaraceni AT comcast.net
 
This morning during seawatching from the Cliff House in strong W winds, Hugh Cotter and I observed at least 26 ELEGANT TERNS, all of which were flying W out of the Golden Gate Channel then heading SW.

We next met up at Heron's Head Park. Scoping from the end of the path near the tip of the peninsula we observed very distant terns out by the cargo ships in the Bay, including ~20 LEAST TERNS and ~5 FORSTER'S TERNS. Three of the Least Terns headed W flying just past us and into India Basin allowing for close looks and listens to their calls and a few photos. They disappeared quickly -- we were unable to relocate them from various points along the Basin.

4 Caspian Terns were also present to round out the tern species.

In addition to the local Black Oystercatchers (4) and Black-necked Stilts (8), migrant shorebirds @ Heron's Head / India Basin included:
Long-billed Curlew 3
Whimbrel 2
Willet 12

A brief stop @ Pier 94 produced the continuing GADWALL on the "Pond" in the industrial lot to the south, looking through the fence.

Also, recent returning shorebirds @ Ocean Beach included:
Whimbrel -- 9 on 6/27
Marbled Godwit -- 1 on 6/27
Willet -- 1 on 6/18 (more since then)
Western Sandpiper -- 1 ad. on 6/18

Paul Saraceni
San Francisco

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Subject: Mystery song/thread closed
Date: Sun Jun 28 2020 16:11 pm
From: dominikmosur AT gmail.com
 
Thank you all for contributing to the discussion.

Until the next one.

This THREAD is done.

Dominik Mosur
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Subject: Mystery song
Date: Sun Jun 28 2020 15:13 pm
From: nagra.ivs AT gmail.com
 
All,
Don Kroodsma sent this thoughtful message yesterday regarding a methodology for sorting out an unseenBEWR/SPTO heard on private property. My apologies for not sending it yesterday for those curious souls that might have contemplated a dawn listen this morning. Thought some might find his approach illuminating.
Regarding the terms sona-gram, sonogram, and spectrogram, they all refer to the same type of visualization of sound as used in our discussions. Spectrogram is now the recommended term in scientific literature. The first commercial device to create spectrograms was the Sona-Graph developed in the early 1950's and manufactured by Kay Elemetrics, thus origin of theword sona-gram (or sonagram)--something akin to referring to a photocopy as a "xerox" copy. Later, the term sonogram gained acceptance over the trade-marked Sona-graph reference. Spectrogram is now the accepted term and avoids confusion with the medical image "sonogram" produced by ultrasound echo.
Best,Greg BudneySan Francisco

from Don Kroodsma...
So is it the wren or not?Here™s how you would find out. About an hour before sunrise, stand in the vicinity where this bird was heard. Listen for a wren, a typical wren song, because the local Wren will have about 20 different songs. Also listen for a towhee, as a local towhee might have up to 10 different songs.
During the intense singing of the dawn chorus, listen for a normal wren song to be repeated 20 to 30 times, and then another wren song 20 to 30 times, and if the wren is going to sing the odd song during the dawn chorus, at some point a normal Wren song will give away to this apparently odd song, To be song 20 to 30 times.
But if you listen during the entire dawn chorus, perhaps 45 minutes long, the wren might reveal only half of his 20 different songs. So on any given morning, you have only a 50% chance of hearing the odd song if indeed it is coming from the wrenSeehttp://birdsongforthecurious.c... the accompanying pages in the book for an illustration.
The towhee is a little different during the dawn chorus, because he works through his repertoire faster, often alternating two or three different songs. If the song is from a towhee you would have a much better chance of hearing it at dawn.Seehttp://birdsongforthecurious.c...
Wish I could join you in a big listen. I cannot imagine a finer way to spend an hour.Best, Don

DonaldKroodsma.com


On Wed, Jun 24, 2020 at 10:16
PM Nico Stuurman <nico@stuurmanpetrie.com>
wrote:


Not to distract from the bird in question (and I think
we all deserve a conclusion to this thread with a visual
ID;), but it is my understanding that sonograms have been in
wide use in bird sound research, which involves extensive
field work. I loved reading Donald Kroodsma's "The singing
life of Birds", and can recommend it to anyone interested in
bird song. Only downside is that I don't have a way to play
the included CD;).


Best,


Nico

On 6/24/2020 9:44 PM, Brian Fitch wrote:



This is striking a deeper issue for me, so I'll try
again.


If this is a Bewick's Wren, then it's not
likely a migrant, and it could be out
there trilling away in McLaren, if only we knew where
to listen and look. I would love to hear and see such
an unusual event, as I have no experience in many
years of birding with a Bewick's repeating the same
odd song, well up in a tree, for such an extended
period of time. As I wrote earlier, Bewick's don't tend
to do this. (Unfortunately, my italicizing of "likely"
and "tend" will probably be lost on Sialia.) Bewick's
are famous for giving multiple variations on their
theme within a short period, and usually sing from
scrubby habitat even where trees are available.



My message this morning was meant as a nudge to a
young birder to share more pertinent details about his
find, but now he's been redirected to making
spectrograms rather than making a complete report of a
compelling find.



Are spectrograms an undeniable source for ID, or
are they merely the aural equivalent of digital
photos? Digital shots have not lessened the human
desire to toss opinions around, as witnessed by the
amazing exchanges between a panel of experts on
Peninsula Birds over the last few days, a discussion
in which said experts have not yet agreed on the ID of
a young warbler. Conversely, many published photos
are unequivocal in their ID usefulness, so perhaps
spectrograms are similarly useful much of the time?



I have little experience with using sonagrams, as
they were called in my childhood copy of the Golden
Guide. The 1966 edition has an introduction to bird
song that focuses completely on sonagrams and their
interpretation, as if it was the latest new thing in
understanding song ID. The book has sonagrams for all
four of the species that have been proposed in this
thread, but only a single graph for each species, as
if there could be no variation. In the intervening
years, I've heard little if anything about them, which
raises the question of why they fell out of favor if
they are so useful. And now they've back under the
title of spectrogram. Does this represent some new
breakthroughs in sound technology, or is it just a
returning trend of the moment, prompted by some new
app? eBird has recently been inundated with
spectrograms and recordings, but that doesn't clarify
the cause of the huge increase, whether it represents
a fad or a real advancement in knowledge.



I can see similarities between all three graphs
that Frank sent, but none of the three are identical.
It would be informative to see a rendering of the wren
that Mike describes, as that might supply some
correlative facts rather than opinions. Is it a fact
that every variation of Bewick's song shows an
identical frequency in the trill, and that every
Blue-winged also always shows a tighter set of lines?
In other words, are the spectrograms truly diagnostic
in this case? Is there never variation in frequency
to the point of overlap between species?



Most if not all of my on-line arguments of the past
decade have been with individuals or panels of experts
who were sitting at their screens trying to judge the
actual experience of myself or others
through technologically rendered derivations, through
virtual experience. Virtual versus
actual, machine versus human. I know that humans make
perceptual errors, but humans make the machines, imbed
their biases in them, and then too often compound
their errors in the interpretation of the machine's
output. And yet here I am trying to compare Eddie's
recording and spectrogram to other recordings on
Xeno-Canto, so I'm also trying to judge the actual
through the virtual, which leaves me more open to the
possibility of being flat out wrong about my ID
thoughts. Yet there are simply too many odd
circumstances involved in this case for me to let a
spectrogram rule out other possibilities, unless
spectrograms have risen to a new level of diagnostic
capacity.



I'm very interested in hearing and seeing the bird
that is giving this song, be it a wren, warbler,
towhee, or junco. I'm also willing to engage any tool
that can help me refine my senses, but not ones that
deny human perception or override it in a categorical
manner. Binoculars refine my eyesight in every case,
but it's unclear to me whether spectrograms are
comparable, or if they represent a less reliable tool.



Brian Fitch








On Wed, Jun 24, 2020
at 5:52 PM Daniel Scali <daniel.s.scali@gmail.com>
wrote:


This should be better. Sialia doesn't
show attachments. If it's still tiny, just look at
someone else's post for the Spectogram.


From Denise Wight:


Hi Daniel,

I'm going with Bewick's Wren. In the
attached spectrogram, the second trill shows a note
at the top, a slight jump, like a dotted "i" which a
lot of trilling birds don't have. The tone sounds
good for Bewick's Wren, too. Spotted Towhees
occasionally have strange two-parted songs, so I
thought about that as a possibility, too. But I've
heard soooo many Bewick's Wrens that have the most
bizarre variations in songs. One at Mitchell Canyon
had only two quick, same pitched buzzes for his
song, and was found in the same location 2 years in
a row!


















--
Greg Budney
San Francisco

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Subject: Mount Sutro Parula, singing Swainson's
Date: Sun Jun 28 2020 8:47 am
From: acgeig AT sbcglobal.net
 
Walked to the summit of Mount Sutro yesterday to look for Dan's Northern Parula. In spite of heavy, drippy fog, the summit was hopping with bird activity. Most abundant were DE Juncos with lots of juveniles. Lots of fighting, including between adult male Juncos, Wilson's Warblers and HBs of both species, respectively. The Northern Parula made an appearance in a tree at the summit above the SW facing slope where Dan originally reported it earlier this week. It was singing occasionally, which was helpful in locating the bird. Eventually, it was replaced by two Hutton's Vireos. Last note - there was a singing and calling Swainson's Thrush along the North Ridge Trail about halfway down to Medical Center Way.

Good birding, y'all
--
Angie G.
SF Birder
Stay Well, Be Happy, Go Birding

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Subject: Lawrence's Goldfinch family In Presidio - new (old) hotspot
Date: Fri Jun 26 2020 12:55 pm
From: grizzledjay=yahoo.com AT groups.io
 
Hi Mike (and community)

Of course, we should always be cognizant of potential disturbance to the animals we wish to see and enjoy, particularly during breeding, so discretion is warranted.

Having said that, the area where the Lawrence's Goldfinches have been seen is actually pretty heavily traveled by walkers, dog-walkers, runners and neighborhood families, and has been undergoing restoration (replanting of the "Western forest" and removal of most of the eucalyptus and old cypress trees to open up for scrub and more native vegetation) for awhile.

I have been occasionally visiting this area over the past couple of years and have been reporting as a Personal Hotspot on eBird (most recent: https://ebird.org/checklist/S6... - the area at the southeast corner of the Presidio including the trails leading parallel and from West Pacific Ave. and Paul Goode Field. After mulling over this (for too long!) I have now submitted a request that this be made into a Hotspot available to all, particularly in view of the recent reports of Lawrence's Goldfinches in this area (and I wonder if I actually may have seen them here before but not been able to ID...).

Hopefully this Presidio--Southeast Hotspot will be available for all to record our recent visits - and it is an area that has been under-explored but has promise for additional discoveries as the ongoing restoration continues.
Good luck to all (birding with care).

Richard Bradus
San Francisco
On Thursday, June 25, 2020, 09:58:08 PM PDT, Mike Carozza <mike.carozza@gmail.com> wrote: Wow! This seems like a situation where birders need to be extremely careful so as not to stress them since they™re spending time on the ground?I want to visit but would love to hear from an expert in that regard.MCOn Thu, Jun 25, 2020 at 7:27 PM Lee-Hong Chang via groups.io <lhchang825=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote: Aaron, sorry! I meant Hooded Oriole as described in my ebird checklist. Somehow Hooded Oriole transformed into Jooeded Warbler when using smartphone technology. Two Lawrence's Goldfinch photos were also added to my ebird checklist - https://ebird.org/checklist/S7... Thank you Mick for your awesome survey of this area to bring attention to us to bird this location that resulted in this unrepresented finding. Good luck if you try to re-find the LAGO family. Patience is definitely needed as it took me only approximately a week. But they should be still around, since the youngster(s) is/are still young. Lee On Thursday, June 25, 2020, 1:46:02 PM PDT, Mick Griffin <londontile@gmail.com> wrote: Have seen plenty of Lesser Goldfinches in that field and adjacent areas but no Lawrence...will have to go back again..Mick GriffinLONDON TILE415.302.1489www.londontileco.comOn Jun 25, 2020, at 12:55 PM, Aaron Maizlish <amm.birdlists@gmail.com> wrote:Thanks Lee (and Lee!). I™ll go look later this afternoon.Did you mean Hooded Oriole family? I™m not aware of any breeding efforts by Hooded Warblers in California this year.Thanks,Aaron MaizlishSFOn Jun 25, 2020, at 12:53 PM, Lee-Hong Chang via groups.io <lhchang825=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:Hi,Today (June 25), following a tip from Lee Guichan that she saw a possible male Lawrence's Goldfinch near Julius Kahn Playground on June 16, I believed I have found the male LAGO after a week's search. Additionally, I believed he was feeding a fledgling in shrubs along trail next to fenced off grass field.. The location is near (37.7920218, -122.4510186) - a spot along a trail that extends from Laurel St. (cross street is West Pacific ave.). He was initially spotted in a fenced field east of a ballfield on east side of Julius Kahn Playground.There is also a Jooeded Warbler family with recent fledgling.eBird report link:https://ebird.org/checklist/S7... care,Lee ChangSF

-- Mike Carozza914-475-9355

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Subject: Baby Lawrence's Goldfinch
Date: Fri Jun 26 2020 10:59 am
From: bilgepump100 AT sbcglobal.net
 
I™m interested in hearing what they Lawerence™s are using for habitat. It it the same set of exotic plants that have been there for years? Is it the result of some restoration work? Can anyone Identify the type of plants that they™re using for cover and forage?

These kind of details can help with advocacy with city agencies.

Thanks,

Bob Hall

--
Bob Hall
San Francisco, CA
"There is no better high than discovery." - E.O. Wilson

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Subject: Lawrence’s Goldfinches still present
Date: Fri Jun 26 2020 10:34 am
From: david_assmann=yahoo.com AT groups.io
 
Same location

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Subject: Baby Lawrence's Goldfinch
Date: Fri Jun 26 2020 9:47 am
From: jmorlan AT gmail.com
 
On Thu, 25 Jun 2020 19:42:29 -0700, "Aaron Maizlish"
wrote:

>Are there any other breeding records of this bird in San Francisco in modern times?

There were four juveniles at Quail Commons in the Presidio July-August
2006.

https://flic.kr/s/aHsiDge2wN

As far as I know, no adults were seen there and I speculated that the
juveniles may have been displaced by a fire in Del Puerto Canyon that year.
--
Joseph Morlan, Pacifica, CA

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Subject: Mystery song
Date: Fri Jun 26 2020 0:03 am
From: eg40monson AT gmail.com
 
Hi all,I do believe that this "mystery bird" is a western bird with a weird song. Still it would be great to know what species exactly. Sorry but a couple things I have not mentioned though is that in the area I was hearing it there was a family of 3-4 Bewick's Wrens. Within this family of Bewick's one bird was singing, (looking back now I realize I should have recorded that song too). This song was what I would consider a more typical Bewick's Wren song with many notes bouncing around in pitch and fairly buzzy. This song did not sound anything like the other song I heard. These wrens were also singing from low down in the brush and not super high up. Still, a wren could have easily moved and sung a different song. This would take us back to Alvaros guess of a Spotted Towhee possibly. Although I did not detect any other Spotted Towhees I was mostly focused on the "mystery bird" and therefore could have missed one completely. Whatever this bird is, I'm pretty sure I heard it singing in a large Eucalyptus grove and in some cypresses.Just some other stuff to chew on.Eddie

On Thu, Jun 25, 2020 at 10:56 AM Richard Bradus via groups.io <grizzledjay=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Hi Brian

You have brought up a most important point, that the actual details of this "sighting" (problematically in this case a "hearing") remain incomplete. Maddeningly so.

As for the analysis of sound recordings, sonograms and spectrographs, there has been significant work in this area over the years (most of which is in scientific journals - which I confess I have mostly not investigated) and they have proven to be very useful. Are they definitive? Well... this is science, after all. More research needed! The recent popularity of recordings and spectrographs I think is due to the acceptance and encouragement of such submissions on the eBird platform (with the Macauley library generating the spectrographs) and especially the wide use of smartphones and the many good recording apps available. By all means we should be encouraging such and submitting more recordings for analysis. If I had a more recent phone I would be doing more myself (the storage on my ancient phone is maxed already unfortunately).

Regarding the identification of the bird in question (and in general), it is important for all of us (myself especially) to keep in mind a tenet of diagnostic medicine: it is much more likely to encounter an uncommon manifestation of a common disease than the common manifestation of a very uncommon disease. A more prosaic way of putting this is "If you hear hoofbeats it is not likely to be a zebra". I think this applies very much to "birding" as well. As I observe more in the field (and, as you know, most "birders" are not really observing), the more surprising things I see and hear - like a White-crowned Sparrow pair nesting in a small tree in a Pacific Heights neighborhood fledging not only one of their own chicks but a Cowbird chick as well (something that I didn't think was possible). So, while it is a bit unlikely for a Bewick's to be singing the same short song variant up in a tree (something I have observed on at least one occasion in Marin county), it is still far more likely than a Blue-winged here. That's my two cents.

Thanks, as always, for sharing your experience and for your thoughtful contributions to the discussion.

Richard
(with apologies to the rest of the community if this is somewhat "off-topic")
On Wednesday, June 24, 2020, 09:44:30 PM PDT, Brian Fitch <fogeggs@gmail.com> wrote:

This is striking a deeper issue for me, so I'll try again.If this is a Bewick's Wren, then it's not likely a migrant, and it could be out there trilling away in McLaren, if only we knew where to listen and look. I would love to hear and see such an unusual event, as I have no experience in many years of birding with a Bewick's repeating the same odd song, well up in a tree, for such an extended period of time. As I wrote earlier, Bewick's don't tend to do this. (Unfortunately, my italicizing of "likely" and "tend" will probably be lost on Sialia.) Bewick's are famous for giving multiple variations on their theme within a short period, and usually sing from scrubby habitat even where trees are available.My message this morning was meant as a nudge to a young birder to share more pertinent details about his find, but now he's been redirected to making spectrograms rather than making a complete report of a compelling find.Are spectrograms an undeniable source for ID, or are they merely the aural equivalent of digital photos? Digital shots have not lessened the human desire to toss opinions around, as witnessed by the amazing exchanges between a panel of experts on Peninsula Birds over the last few days, a discussion in which said experts have not yet agreed on the ID of a young warbler. Conversely, many published photos are unequivocal in their ID usefulness, so perhaps spectrograms are similarly useful much of the time? I have little experience with using sonagrams, as they were called in my childhood copy of the Golden Guide. The 1966 edition has an introduction to bird song that focuses completely on sonagrams and their interpretation, as if it was the latest new thing in understanding song ID. The book has sonagrams for all four of the species that have been proposed in this thread, but only a single graph for each species, as if there could be no variation. In the intervening years, I've heard little if anything about them, which raises the question of why they fell out of favor if they are so useful. And now they've back under the title of spectrogram. Does this represent some new breakthroughs in sound technology, or is it just a returning trend of the moment, prompted by some new app? eBird has recently been inundated with spectrograms and recordings, but that doesn't clarify the cause of the huge increase, whether it represents a fad or a real advancement in knowledge. I can see similarities between all three graphs that Frank sent, but none of the three are identical. It would be informative to see a rendering of the wren that Mike describes, as that might supply some correlative facts rather than opinions. Is it a fact that every variation of Bewick's song shows an identical frequency in the trill, and that every Blue-winged also always shows a tighter set of lines? In other words, are the spectrograms truly diagnostic in this case? Is there never variation in frequency to the point of overlap between species?Most if not all of my on-line arguments of the past decade have been with individuals or panels of experts who were sitting at their screens trying to judge the actual experience of myself or others through technologically rendered derivations, through virtual experience. Virtual versus actual, machine versus human. I know that humans make perceptual errors, but humans make the machines, imbed their biases in them, and then too often compound their errors in the interpretation of the machine's output. And yet here I am trying to compare Eddie's recording and spectrogram to other recordings on Xeno-Canto, so I'm also trying to judge the actual through the virtual, which leaves me more open to the possibility of being flat out wrong about my ID thoughts. Yet there are simply too many odd circumstances involved in this case for me to let a spectrogram rule out other possibilities, unless spectrograms have risen to a new level of diagnostic capacity.I'm very interested in hearing and seeing the bird that is giving this song, be it a wren, warbler, towhee, or junco. I'm also willing to engage any tool that can help me refine my senses, but not ones that deny human perception or override it in a categorical manner. Binoculars refine my eyesight in every case, but it's unclear to me whether spectrograms are comparable, or if they represent a less reliable tool.Brian FitchOn Wed, Jun 24, 2020 at 5:52 PM Daniel Scali <daniel.s.scali@gmail.com> wrote:This should be better. Sialia doesn't show attachments. If it's still tiny, just look at someone else's post for the Spectogram.From Denise Wight:Hi Daniel,I'm going with Bewick's Wren. In the attached spectrogram, the second trill shows a note at the top, a slight jump, like a dotted "i" which a lot of trilling birds don't have. The tone sounds good for Bewick's Wren, too. Spotted Towhees occasionally have strange two-parted songs, so I thought about that as a possibility, too. But I've heard soooo many Bewick's Wrens that have the most bizarre variations in songs. One at Mitchell Canyon had only two quick, same pitched buzzes for his song, and was found in the same location 2 years in a row!









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Subject: Mystery song
Date: Fri Jun 26 2020 0:03 am
From: karul2 AT stanford.edu
 
Good discussion here.  I recently got Nathan Pieplow™s Peterson Field Guide to Bird Sounds (West) (2017).  He makes the case for the ˜spectrograms™ in a big way (as does Kroodsma™s wonderful book).  In my personal experience, I have found them to be very useful sometimes, but no substitute for a good ear and lots of experience.  And it should be noted that sometimes the spectrograms obscure a difference that is easier to hear directly. Musicians know well the limitations of spectrograms.  But with Ebird spectrograms and easy access to handheld tech, this will no doubt be more widely used, especially with fine distinctions that are not easily heard by human ears.  We might note how casual birders are now regularly identifying types of red crossbills using this technology.
Kumaran Arul

On Jun 25, 2020, at 4:23 PM, Brian Fitch wrote:


This is fascinating on multiple fronts.

Nico invokes Kroodsma last night, which led me to pull Kroodsma's book off the shelf to give it another look, and then Greg passes along some live Kroodsma, offering his verdict based on years of study. I have to admit that a PhD in Bewick's Wren song leads me to repress my heretical impulses to some degree, but they're still there, leaning much more toward first hand experience rather than authoritative statements.

And I'm simply not hearing what Alvaro does, possibly because I did not grow up listening to Blue-wingeds. I listen to Eddie's recording, then to any number of other recordings of Blue-winged, and they seem identical, or nearly so. Checking Xeno-Canto for Bewick's exposes you to a huge number of recordings, and none within my too brief sampling approached Eddie's bird at all. I'm not alone in this, as others are having the same experience.

I can see the difference in the few graphs, but the differences seem visually minimal, which agrees somewhat with my being unable to hear the differences. I've taught bird song ID on many field trips, and have found many rarities based only on first hearing them, so I hope that explains a little why I'm having some resistance to ignoring what I hear. At least Kroodsma acknowledged that this is an aberrant song. I still hope to hear the bird live, and lay the blame for this cognitive dissonance on the virtual renderings of the sounds, as I wrote last night. Yet no one else has heard this individual again, and shouldn't an adult Bewick's stick to its territory and keep singing?

There is still the unanswered question of variation to the point of possible overlap between species, and whether sonograms can be diagnostic. Do the norms, the statistical ranges, never bleed into one another, so that a slow Blue-winged trill could look graphically like a fast wren trill? Sonagrams are abstractions from real experience, and seem to require serious expertise to interpret, which could explain why no other field guides have included them since 1966, and why ornithologists are able to make use of them. But are they open to a variety of interpretations as are photographs, or are they more like fingerprints, offering a clear ID?

Brian Fitch

On Thu, Jun 25, 2020 at 3:10 PM Chris Okon > wrote:
This is a fun and easy video about using some spectrographs to ID birds:
https://www.instagram.com/tv/B...

On Thu, Jun 25, 2020, 12:10 PM nagra.ivs > wrote:
All,

I sent the unidentified recordings to a friend, Don Kroodsma, a long time bird song researcher without revealing anything more than the recording was made in the SF area. He researched Bewick's Wren song for his Ph.D. Here is his reply, "Bewick's Wren. The wrens in the bay area have about 20 songs apiece. Could™ve been an aberrant song. Sounded like it was repeated in a stereotype fashion, so not a young bird. I heard two phrases to the song, and both sounded like a typical Wren."

Greg Budney

On Wed, Jun 24, 2020 at 5:52 PM Daniel Scali > wrote:
This should be better. Sialia doesn't show attachments. If it's still tiny, just look at someone else's post for the Spectogram.

From Denise Wight:

Hi Daniel,

I'm going with Bewick's Wren. In the attached spectrogram, the second trill shows a note at the top, a slight jump, like a dotted "i" which a lot of trilling birds don't have. The tone sounds good for Bewick's Wren, too. Spotted Towhees occasionally have strange two-parted songs, so I thought about that as a possibility, too. But I've heard soooo many Bewick's Wrens that have the most bizarre variations in songs. One at Mitchell Canyon had only two quick, same pitched buzzes for his song, and was found in the same location 2 years in a row!



--
Greg Budney
San Francisco



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Subject: Lawrence's Goldfinch family In Presidio
Date: Thu Jun 25 2020 23:58 pm
From: mike.carozza AT gmail.com
 
Wow! This seems like a situation where birders need to be extremely careful so as not to stress them since they™re spending time on the ground?
I want to visit but would love to hear from an expert in that regard.
MC
On Thu, Jun 25, 2020 at 7:27 PM Lee-Hong Chang via groups.io <lhchang825=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:

Aaron, sorry! I meant Hooded Oriole as described in my ebird checklist. Somehow Hooded Oriole transformed into Jooeded Warbler when using smartphone technology.

Two Lawrence's Goldfinch photos were also added to my ebird checklist - https://ebird.org/checklist/S7...

Thank you Mick for your awesome survey of this area to bring attention to us to bird this location that resulted in this unrepresented finding.

Good luck if you try to re-find the LAGO family. Patience is definitely needed as it took me only approximately a week. But they should be still around, since the youngster(s) is/are still young.

Lee









On Thursday, June 25, 2020, 1:46:02 PM PDT, Mick Griffin <londontile@gmail.com> wrote:





Have seen plenty of Lesser Goldfinches in that field and adjacent areas but no Lawrence...will have to go back again..
Mick GriffinLONDON TILE415.302.1489www.londontileco.com
On Jun 25, 2020, at 12:55 PM, Aaron Maizlish <amm.birdlists@gmail.com> wrote:Thanks Lee (and Lee!). I™ll go look later this afternoon.Did you mean Hooded Oriole family? I™m not aware of any breeding efforts by Hooded Warblers in California this year.Thanks,Aaron MaizlishSFOn Jun 25, 2020, at 12:53 PM, Lee-Hong Chang via groups.io <lhchang825=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:Hi,Today (June 25), following a tip from Lee Guichan that she saw a possible male Lawrence's Goldfinch near Julius Kahn Playground on June 16, I believed I have found the male LAGO after a week's search. Additionally, I believed he was feeding a fledgling in shrubs along trail next to fenced off grass field.. The location is near (37.7920218, -122.4510186) - a spot along a trail that extends from Laurel St. (cross street is West Pacific ave.). He was initially spotted in a fenced field east of a ballfield on east side of Julius Kahn Playground.There is also a Jooeded Warbler family with recent fledgling.eBird report link:https://ebird.org/checklist/S7... care,Lee ChangSF















--
Mike Carozza
914-475-9355

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Subject: Speaking of Rajan's copulating American Redstarts and Lee, Lee, and Aaron's post-copulating Lawrence's Goldfinches, Mt. Sutro is also going off!
Date: Thu Jun 25 2020 23:31 pm
From: daniel.s.scali AT gmail.com
 
Heyo,
Last Wed I was on top of ole Sutro and spotted a Band-tailed Pigeon seemingly nest building. I was in a hurry and foliage was too thick to confirm. Olive-sided Flycatcher and Spotted Towhee were singing as well.
I went back the next day to confirm, and discovered nada. The "nest" I thought I had seen had me wondering about one of those leaf catcher branch forks where leaves accumulate to trick us. It didn't help that Eddie Bartely told me Bandies requirelots o' acorns in order to set up shop and Sutro is basically Euc Land.
So I go up again today to pick up a few California native plants for a bday gift and even though i have perishables from Costco in the trunk (most impt ones in coolers) the birding disease tugs me up Nike Rd to go check on the possible pidge once again. Initially I see the same decoy nest but I go (very slowly) a few steps in off the trail and in another dense patch a little bit up and over there's the purpley dove just hangin. I can't ID the tree it's in and I'm wondering if the tree is basically a zombie host for English ivy because that might be what I'm seeing everywhere.
The disease continued, and I, onward, to loop the summit, aka rotary meadow. Soon thereafter, I heard another possible warbler/junco -- turned out to be a NORTHERN PARULA singing on and off for the next hour. This is at least the 3rd Nopa spotted on the mountain since May 16. Whitney Grover has had both a singing male and silent female-type. Which brings me back to all the bacon makin' going on right now.
Side Note: Josaiah, I stood watch this morning for 30 minutes at Mclaren over a willow patch listening to a singing Swainson's Thrush -- it wasn't having it.
The singer Parula was chasing birds left and right and moving around the hillside that is Southwest facing (I think) from the summit. There was a lot of activity and I was definitely wondering if there were other parulas in the mix.
I hope some folks will get up there tomorrow. If you strike out on birds, the rotary meadow at the summit is a gorgeous testament to the ecological restoration work a lot of organizations are doing in SF these days. Once the pigeons hopefully succeed, I will be happy to disclose the nest location.
Good birding,Dan

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Subject: Baby Lawrence's Goldfinch
Date: Thu Jun 25 2020 23:25 pm
From: ssafranmidd AT gmail.com
 
Exciting! Last year when sorting through some historical observations I
found this 1915 record of a nest "6 ft up in an alder bush near the water"
by Dudley DeGroot from an unspecified location in the county:
https://collections.wfvz.org/r...

[image: image.png]


[image: image.png]

I asked Josiah about it and I believe he said that they also nested in the
Presidio one year about a decade ago. I'm sure he or others would have more
information on that--I mostly just wanted to share the old photos from
WFVZ.

Wish I were still around to see them now!

Best,
Sam Safran
Minneapolis

On Thu, Jun 25, 2020 at 9:42 PM Aaron Maizlish
wrote:

> Folks,
>
> I got down to the Presidio around 5pm this evening. With David Tomb, we
> were able to pretty quickly get on what appears to be a recently fledged
> Lawrence™s Goldfinch. (Someone please correct me if I™m wrong!). Note the
> white in the tail, the yellow already coming in on the wing, the pale head
> and large bill - all of which I think safely separate this from the other
> finches. We stayed with this bird for about ten minutes and then it flew
> off with another (possibly juvenile, possibly adult female.). This was at
> the coordinates that Lee Hong-Chang gave in the first post. Over the next
> hour I was unable to get on any other LAGOs - though I heard the tinkle
> call a few times. It was difficult with the high winds and the literally
> hundred plus House Finch, Lesser Goldfinch, juncos, song and WC sparrows,
> and Hooded Orioles flying around. This area seems to be a breeding frenzy.
> You should also check the trees in a little gully about 100 yards north
> of the spot (not accessible by any main trail) where I last heard the LAGO
> call.
>
> Are there any other breeding records of this bird in San Francisco in
> modern times?
>
> Aaron Maizlish
> San Francisco
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>

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Subject: Baby Lawrence's Goldfinch
Date: Thu Jun 25 2020 21:42 pm
From: amm.birdlists AT gmail.com
 
Folks,

I got down to the Presidio around 5pm this evening. With David Tomb, we were able to pretty quickly get on what appears to be a recently fledged Lawrence™s Goldfinch. (Someone please correct me if I™m wrong!). Note the white in the tail, the yellow already coming in on the wing, the pale head and large bill - all of which I think safely separate this from the other finches. We stayed with this bird for about ten minutes and then it flew off with another (possibly juvenile, possibly adult female.). This was at the coordinates that Lee Hong-Chang gave in the first post. Over the next hour I was unable to get on any other LAGOs - though I heard the tinkle call a few times. It was difficult with the high winds and the literally hundred plus House Finch, Lesser Goldfinch, juncos, song and WC sparrows, and Hooded Orioles flying around. This area seems to be a breeding frenzy. You should also check the trees in a little gully about 100 yards north of the spot (not accessible by any main trail) where I last heard the LAGO call.

Are there any other breeding records of this bird in San Francisco in modern times?

Aaron Maizlish
San Francisco








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Subject: Mystery song
Date: Thu Jun 25 2020 21:39 pm
From: nagra.ivs AT gmail.com
 
Nico (and anyone else who's an owner of The Singing Life of Birds),
If you own a copy of "The Singing Life of Birds", but find yourself without means to play the book's CD, which contains the actual recordings discussed in each chapter, if you write Kroodsma he will provide you with a link where you may download the high-resolution audio files. There's no cost.
For any of you that found "The Singing Life of Birds" a worthwhile read, including his recommendation to explore bird sounds through the use of Raven Litesound analysis software (free), two other volumes by Kroodsma that are equally informative and inspiring are: "Birdsong by the Seasons - A Year of Listening to Birds" (with CDs) and "Listening to a Continent Sing" (381 recordings discussed in the book playable at a free website). He's recently released a fourth book, "Birdsong for the Curious Naturalist - Your Guide to Listening" (with 75 hours of accompanying recordings at BirdsongForTheCurious.com). For the record, I am not on the payroll. ;)
Lastly, something most of you know, though a species may essentially inhabit understory, when advertising many of these "understory" species routinely make use of a perch that affords a high and unobstructed pathway to broadcast their song effectively.Thousands of years of evolutionary savvy behind this behavior...and the all important arbiter, female choice. Pretty amazing stuff eh?
Best,Greg Budney
On Wed, Jun 24, 2020 at 10:16 PM Nico Stuurman <nico@stuurmanpetrie.com> wrote:





Not to distract from the bird in question (and I think we all
deserve a conclusion to this thread with a visual ID;), but it is my
understanding that sonograms have been in wide use in bird sound
research, which involves extensive field work. I loved reading
Donald Kroodsma's "The singing life of Birds", and can recommend it
to anyone interested in bird song. Only downside is that I don't
have a way to play the included CD;).


Best,


Nico

On 6/24/2020 9:44 PM, Brian Fitch
wrote:




This is striking a deeper issue for me, so I'll try again.


If this is a Bewick's Wren, then it's not likely
a migrant, and it could be out there trilling away in McLaren,
if only we knew where to listen and look. I would love to
hear and see such an unusual event, as I have no experience in
many years of birding with a Bewick's repeating the same odd
song, well up in a tree, for such an extended period of time.
As I wrote earlier, Bewick's don't tend to do
this. (Unfortunately, my italicizing of "likely" and "tend"
will probably be lost on Sialia.) Bewick's are famous for
giving multiple variations on their theme within a short
period, and usually sing from scrubby habitat even where trees
are available.



My message this morning was meant as a nudge to a young
birder to share more pertinent details about his find, but now
he's been redirected to making spectrograms rather than making
a complete report of a compelling find.



Are spectrograms an undeniable source for ID, or are they
merely the aural equivalent of digital photos? Digital shots
have not lessened the human desire to toss opinions around, as
witnessed by the amazing exchanges between a panel of experts
on Peninsula Birds over the last few days, a discussion in
which said experts have not yet agreed on the ID of a young
warbler. Conversely, many published photos are unequivocal in
their ID usefulness, so perhaps spectrograms are similarly
useful much of the time?



I have little experience with using sonagrams, as they were
called in my childhood copy of the Golden Guide. The 1966
edition has an introduction to bird song that focuses
completely on sonagrams and their interpretation, as if it was
the latest new thing in understanding song ID. The book has
sonagrams for all four of the species that have been proposed
in this thread, but only a single graph for each species, as
if there could be no variation. In the intervening years,
I've heard little if anything about them, which raises the
question of why they fell out of favor if they are so
useful. And now they've back under the title of
spectrogram. Does this represent some new breakthroughs in
sound technology, or is it just a returning trend of the
moment, prompted by some new app? eBird has recently been
inundated with spectrograms and recordings, but that doesn't
clarify the cause of the huge increase, whether it represents
a fad or a real advancement in knowledge.



I can see similarities between all three graphs that Frank
sent, but none of the three are identical. It would be
informative to see a rendering of the wren that Mike
describes, as that might supply some correlative facts rather
than opinions. Is it a fact that every variation of Bewick's
song shows an identical frequency in the trill, and that every
Blue-winged also always shows a tighter set of lines? In
other words, are the spectrograms truly diagnostic in this
case? Is there never variation in frequency to the point of
overlap between species?



Most if not all of my on-line arguments of the past decade
have been with individuals or panels of experts who were
sitting at their screens trying to judge the actual
experience of myself or others through technologically
rendered derivations, through virtual
experience. Virtual versus actual, machine versus human. I
know that humans make perceptual errors, but humans make the
machines, imbed their biases in them, and then too often
compound their errors in the interpretation of the machine's
output. And yet here I am trying to compare Eddie's recording
and spectrogram to other recordings on Xeno-Canto, so I'm also
trying to judge the actual through the virtual, which leaves
me more open to the possibility of being flat out wrong about
my ID thoughts. Yet there are simply too many odd
circumstances involved in this case for me to let a
spectrogram rule out other possibilities, unless spectrograms
have risen to a new level of diagnostic capacity.



I'm very interested in hearing and seeing the bird that is
giving this song, be it a wren, warbler, towhee, or junco.
I'm also willing to engage any tool that can help me refine my
senses, but not ones that deny human perception or override it
in a categorical manner. Binoculars refine my eyesight in
every case, but it's unclear to me whether spectrograms are
comparable, or if they represent a less reliable tool.



Brian Fitch








On Wed, Jun 24, 2020 at 5:52
PM Daniel Scali <daniel.s.scali@gmail.com>
wrote:


This should be better. Sialia doesn't show
attachments. If it's still tiny, just look at someone else's
post for the Spectogram.


From Denise Wight:


Hi Daniel,

I'm going with Bewick's Wren. In the attached
spectrogram, the second trill shows a note at the top, a
slight jump, like a dotted "i" which a lot of trilling birds
don't have. The tone sounds good for Bewick's Wren, too.
Spotted Towhees occasionally have strange two-parted songs,
so I thought about that as a possibility, too. But I've
heard soooo many Bewick's Wrens that have the most bizarre
variations in songs. One at Mitchell Canyon had only two
quick, same pitched buzzes for his song, and was found in
the same location 2 years in a row!

















--
Greg Budney
San Francisco

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Subject: Lawrence's Goldfinch family In Presidio
Date: Thu Jun 25 2020 21:27 pm
From: lhchang825=yahoo.com AT groups.io
 
Aaron, sorry! I meant Hooded Oriole as described in my ebird checklist. Somehow Hooded Oriole transformed into Jooeded Warbler when using smartphone technology. 

Two Lawrence's Goldfinch photos were also added to my ebird checklist - https://ebird.org/checklist/S7...

Thank you Mick for your awesome survey of this area to bring attention to us to bird this location that resulted in this unrepresented finding.

Good luck if you try to re-find the LAGO family. Patience is definitely needed as it took me only approximately a week. But they should be still around, since the youngster(s) is/are still young.

Lee









On Thursday, June 25, 2020, 1:46:02 PM PDT, Mick Griffin <londontile@gmail.com> wrote:





Have seen plenty of Lesser Goldfinches in that field and adjacent areas but no Lawrence...will have to go back again..
Mick GriffinLONDON TILE415.302.1489www.londontileco.com
On Jun 25, 2020, at 12:55 PM, Aaron Maizlish <amm.birdlists@gmail.com> wrote:Thanks Lee (and Lee!). I™ll go look later this afternoon.Did you mean Hooded Oriole family? I™m not aware of any breeding efforts by Hooded Warblers in California this year.Thanks,Aaron MaizlishSFOn Jun 25, 2020, at 12:53 PM, Lee-Hong Chang via groups.io <lhchang825=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:Hi,Today (June 25), following a tip from Lee Guichan that she saw a possible male Lawrence's Goldfinch near Julius Kahn Playground on June 16, I believed I have found the male LAGO after a week's search. Additionally, I believed he was feeding a fledgling in shrubs along trail next to fenced off grass field.. The location is near (37.7920218, -122.4510186) - a spot along a trail that extends from Laurel St. (cross street is West Pacific ave.). He was initially spotted in a fenced field east of a ballfield on east side of Julius Kahn Playground.There is also a Jooeded Warbler family with recent fledgling.eBird report link:https://ebird.org/checklist/S7... care,Lee ChangSF



Subject: Mystery song
Date: Thu Jun 25 2020 18:41 pm
From: rich815 AT gmail.com
 
Wow, all this because someone heard a Bewick's Wren sing over 10™ from the ground.... :-)
Actually it™s really interesting.
On Thu, Jun 25, 2020 at 4:23 PM Brian Fitch <fogeggs@gmail.com> wrote:
This is fascinating on multiple fronts.

Nico invokes Kroodsma last night, which led me to pull Kroodsma's book off the shelf to give it another look, and then Greg passes along some live Kroodsma, offering his verdict based on years of study. I have to admit that a PhD in Bewick's Wren song leads me to repress my heretical impulses to some degree, but they're still there, leaning much more toward first hand experience rather than authoritative statements.
And I'm simply not hearing what Alvaro does, possibly because I did not grow up listening to Blue-wingeds. I listen to Eddie's recording, then to any number of other recordings of Blue-winged, and they seem identical, or nearly so. Checking Xeno-Canto for Bewick's exposes you to a huge number of recordings, and none within my too brief sampling approached Eddie's bird at all. I'm not alone in this, as others are having the same experience.

I can see the difference in the few graphs, but the differences seem visually minimal, which agrees somewhat with my being unable to hear the differences. I've taught bird song ID on many field trips, and have found many rarities based only on first hearing them, so I hope that explains a little why I'm having some resistance to ignoring what I hear. At least Kroodsma acknowledged that this is an aberrant song. I still hope to hear the bird live, and lay the blame for this cognitive dissonance on the virtual renderings of the sounds, as I wrote last night. Yet no one else has heard this individual again, and shouldn't an adult Bewick's stick to its territory and keep singing?

There is still the unanswered question of variation to the point of possible overlap between species, and whether sonograms can be diagnostic. Do the norms, the statistical ranges, never bleed into one another, so that a slow Blue-winged trill could look graphically like a fast wren trill? Sonagrams are abstractions from real experience, and seem to require serious expertise to interpret, which could explain why no other field guides have included them since 1966, and why ornithologists are able to make use of them. But are they open to a variety of interpretations as are photographs, or are they more like fingerprints, offering a clear ID?

Brian Fitch

On Thu, Jun 25, 2020 at 3:10 PM Chris Okon <chrisokon@gmail.com> wrote:
This is a fun and easy video about using some spectrographs to ID birds:https://www.instagram.com/tv/B...

On Thu, Jun 25, 2020, 12:10 PM nagra.ivs <nagra.ivs@gmail.com> wrote:
All,
I sent the unidentified recordings to a friend, Don Kroodsma, a long time bird song researcher without revealing anything more than the recording was made in the SF area. He researched Bewick's Wren song for his Ph.D. Here is his reply, "Bewick's Wren. The wrens in the bay area have about 20 songs apiece. Could™ve been an aberrant song. Sounded like it was repeated in a stereotype fashion, so not a young bird. I heard two phrases to the song, and both sounded like a typical Wren."
Greg Budney
On Wed, Jun 24, 2020 at 5:52 PM Daniel Scali <daniel.s.scali@gmail.com> wrote:
This should be better. Sialia doesn't show attachments. If it's still tiny, just look at someone else's post for the Spectogram.

From Denise Wight:

Hi Daniel,

I'm going with Bewick's Wren. In the attached spectrogram, the second trill shows a note at the top, a slight jump, like a dotted "i" which a lot of trilling birds don't have. The tone sounds good for Bewick's Wren, too. Spotted Towhees occasionally have strange two-parted songs, so I thought about that as a possibility, too. But I've heard soooo many Bewick's Wrens that have the most bizarre variations in songs. One at Mitchell Canyon had only two quick, same pitched buzzes for his song, and was found in the same location 2 years in a row!










--
Greg Budney
San Francisco

















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Subject: Mystery song
Date: Thu Jun 25 2020 18:23 pm
From: fogeggs AT gmail.com
 
This is fascinating on multiple fronts. 

Nico invokes Kroodsma last night, which led me to pull Kroodsma's book off the shelf to give it another look, and then Greg passes along some live Kroodsma, offering his verdict based on years of study. I have to admit that a PhD in Bewick's Wren song leads me to repress my heretical impulses to some degree, but they're still there, leaning much more toward first hand experience rather than authoritative statements.
And I'm simply not hearing what Alvaro does, possibly because I did not grow up listening to Blue-wingeds. I listen to Eddie's recording, then to any number of other recordings of Blue-winged, and they seem identical, or nearly so. Checking Xeno-Canto for Bewick's exposes you to a huge number of recordings, and none within my too brief sampling approached Eddie's bird at all. I'm not alone in this, as others are having the same experience.

I can see the difference in the few graphs, but the differences seem visually minimal, which agrees somewhat with my being unable to hear the differences. I've taught bird song ID on many field trips, and have found many rarities based only on first hearing them, so I hope that explains a little why I'm having some resistance to ignoring what I hear. At least Kroodsma acknowledged that this is an aberrant song. I still hope to hear the bird live, and lay the blame for this cognitive dissonance on the virtual renderings of the sounds, as I wrote last night. Yet no one else has heard this individual again, and shouldn't an adult Bewick's stick to its territory and keep singing?

There is still the unanswered question of variation to the point of possible overlap between species, and whether sonograms can be diagnostic. Do the norms, the statistical ranges, never bleed into one another, so that a slow Blue-winged trill could look graphically like a fast wren trill? Sonagrams are abstractions from real experience, and seem to require serious expertise to interpret, which could explain why no other field guides have included them since 1966, and why ornithologists are able to make use of them. But are they open to a variety of interpretations as are photographs, or are they more like fingerprints, offering a clear ID?

Brian Fitch

On Thu, Jun 25, 2020 at 3:10 PM Chris Okon <chrisokon@gmail.com> wrote:
This is a fun and easy video about using some spectrographs to ID birds:https://www.instagram.com/tv/B...

On Thu, Jun 25, 2020, 12:10 PM nagra.ivs <nagra.ivs@gmail.com> wrote:
All,
I sent the unidentified recordings to a friend, Don Kroodsma, a long time bird song researcher without revealing anything more than the recording was made in the SF area. He researched Bewick's Wren song for his Ph.D. Here is his reply, "Bewick's Wren. The wrens in the bay area have about 20 songs apiece. Could™ve been an aberrant song. Sounded like it was repeated in a stereotype fashion, so not a young bird. I heard two phrases to the song, and both sounded like a typical Wren."
Greg Budney
On Wed, Jun 24, 2020 at 5:52 PM Daniel Scali <daniel.s.scali@gmail.com> wrote:
This should be better. Sialia doesn't show attachments. If it's still tiny, just look at someone else's post for the Spectogram.

From Denise Wight:

Hi Daniel,

I'm going with Bewick's Wren. In the attached spectrogram, the second trill shows a note at the top, a slight jump, like a dotted "i" which a lot of trilling birds don't have. The tone sounds good for Bewick's Wren, too. Spotted Towhees occasionally have strange two-parted songs, so I thought about that as a possibility, too. But I've heard soooo many Bewick's Wrens that have the most bizarre variations in songs. One at Mitchell Canyon had only two quick, same pitched buzzes for his song, and was found in the same location 2 years in a row!










--
Greg Budney
San Francisco











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Subject: Parakeet auklet on shipwreck rock now . . .
Date: Thu Jun 25 2020 17:21 pm
From: joelperl AT earthlink.net
 
I saw the parakeet auklet from the shipwreck lookout today. Sometime between around 11:30 to 12:30. Initially observed in the surf to the west of hermit rock. Visible there about 10 minutes. Observed more briefly twice more, each time a bit further from shore.
--
Joel Perlstein
San Francisco

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Subject: Mystery song
Date: Thu Jun 25 2020 17:10 pm
From: chrisokon AT gmail.com
 
This is a fun and easy video about using some spectrographs to ID birds:https://www.instagram.com/tv/B...

On Thu, Jun 25, 2020, 12:10 PM nagra.ivs <nagra.ivs@gmail.com> wrote:
All,
I sent the unidentified recordings to a friend, Don Kroodsma, a long time bird song researcher without revealing anything more than the recording was made in the SF area. He researched Bewick's Wren song for his Ph.D. Here is his reply, "Bewick's Wren. The wrens in the bay area have about 20 songs apiece. Could™ve been an aberrant song. Sounded like it was repeated in a stereotype fashion, so not a young bird. I heard two phrases to the song, and both sounded like a typical Wren."
Greg Budney
On Wed, Jun 24, 2020 at 5:52 PM Daniel Scali <daniel.s.scali@gmail.com> wrote:
This should be better. Sialia doesn't show attachments. If it's still tiny, just look at someone else's post for the Spectogram.

From Denise Wight:

Hi Daniel,

I'm going with Bewick's Wren. In the attached spectrogram, the second trill shows a note at the top, a slight jump, like a dotted "i" which a lot of trilling birds don't have. The tone sounds good for Bewick's Wren, too. Spotted Towhees occasionally have strange two-parted songs, so I thought about that as a possibility, too. But I've heard soooo many Bewick's Wrens that have the most bizarre variations in songs. One at Mitchell Canyon had only two quick, same pitched buzzes for his song, and was found in the same location 2 years in a row!










--
Greg Budney
San Francisco





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Subject: Lawrence's Goldfinch family In Presidio
Date: Thu Jun 25 2020 14:55 pm
From: amm.birdlists AT gmail.com
 
Thanks Lee (and Lee!). I™ll go look later this afternoon.
Did you mean Hooded Oriole family? I™m not aware of any breeding efforts by Hooded Warblers in California this year.
Thanks,
Aaron MaizlishSF

On Jun 25, 2020, at 12:53 PM, Lee-Hong Chang via groups.io <lhchang825=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:Hi,Today (June 25), following a tip from Lee Guichan that she saw a possible male Lawrence's Goldfinch near Julius Kahn Playground on June 16, I believed I have found the male LAGO after a week's search. Additionally, I believed he was feeding a fledgling in shrubs along trail next to fenced off grass field.. The location is near (37.7920218, -122.4510186) - a spot along a trail that extends from Laurel St. (cross street is West Pacific ave.). He was initially spotted in a fenced field east of a ballfield on east side of Julius Kahn Playground.
There is also a Jooeded Warbler family with recent fledgling.
eBird report link:https://ebird.org/checklist/S7...
Take care,Lee ChangSF



Subject: Lawrence's Goldfinch family In Presidio
Date: Thu Jun 25 2020 14:53 pm
From: lhchang825=yahoo.com AT groups.io
 
Hi,Today (June 25), following a tip from Lee Guichan that she saw a possible male Lawrence's Goldfinch near Julius Kahn Playground on June 16, I believed I have found the male LAGO after a week's search. Additionally, I believed he was feeding a fledgling in shrubs along trail next to fenced off grass field.. The location is near (37.7920218, -122.4510186) - a spot along a trail that extends from Laurel St. (cross street is West Pacific ave.). He was initially spotted in a fenced field east of a ballfield on east side of Julius Kahn Playground.
There is also a Jooeded Warbler family with recent fledgling.
eBird report link:https://ebird.org/checklist/S7...
Take care,Lee ChangSF




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Subject: Mystery song
Date: Thu Jun 25 2020 14:10 pm
From: nagra.ivs AT gmail.com
 
All,
I sent the unidentified recordings to a friend, Don Kroodsma, a long time bird song researcher without revealing anything more than the recording was made in the SF area. He researched Bewick's Wren song for his Ph.D. Here is his reply, "Bewick's Wren. The wrens in the bay area have about 20 songs apiece. Could™ve been an aberrant song. Sounded like it was repeated in a stereotype fashion, so not a young bird. I heard two phrases to the song, and both sounded like a typical Wren."
Greg Budney
On Wed, Jun 24, 2020 at 5:52 PM Daniel Scali <daniel.s.scali@gmail.com> wrote:
This should be better. Sialia doesn't show attachments. If it's still tiny, just look at someone else's post for the Spectogram.

From Denise Wight:

Hi Daniel,

I'm going with Bewick's Wren. In the attached spectrogram, the second trill shows a note at the top, a slight jump, like a dotted "i" which a lot of trilling birds don't have. The tone sounds good for Bewick's Wren, too. Spotted Towhees occasionally have strange two-parted songs, so I thought about that as a possibility, too. But I've heard soooo many Bewick's Wrens that have the most bizarre variations in songs. One at Mitchell Canyon had only two quick, same pitched buzzes for his song, and was found in the same location 2 years in a row!










--
Greg Budney
San Francisco

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Subject: Mystery song
Date: Thu Jun 25 2020 13:21 pm
From: chucao AT coastside.net
 
All
I thought I would write a bit about sound analysis, for those interested in that aspect of the conversation.
Having grown up listening to Eastern warblers, that bird just did not sound like a Blue-winged Warbler. So the way I would use a sonogram (usually called a spectrogram now, but lets just use the term birders know instead) is to visually see what my ears are telling me. It does not sound like a Blue-winged, but why? Make a picture and then you see why, frequency ranges, average frequency and structure of trills. That is the way I was going about using the sonogram in this case. 1) sounds weird 2) why? 3) make picture 4) answer the why.
But you can also use sonograms in a different way, and it is more analytical. You can take multiple recordings of Blue-winged and then make sonograms and take measurements from the sonograms. You could use let™s say 20 or a 100 or more, then you will have an actual distribution of what is the norm in a Blue-winged Warbler vocalization. You can then take an unknown recording, make similar measurements and statistically show if it is within that population or not. Basically, is it or isn™t it a Blue-winged warbler? No one has done this, and my guess is that there is no need to, and it is substantial amount of work. So here you could do this: 1) Take measurements from a sample of a vocalization 2) Describe the structure of the vocalization from these measurements 3) Compare an unknown vocalization to these data 4) statistically decide if it is the same thing or something different.
I am currently working on a study to divide a species of North American bird into two species based on measurements I am taking from vocalizations of this species. You can take these measurements and they are highly repeatable. You can hear the differences too, there is no magic that fools you. It just puts down what you are hearing into a mode where you can see the differences and measure the differences. It is basically a plot, a graph of the sound.
Alvaro
Alvaro Jaramillo
alvaro@alvarosadventures.com
www.alvarosadventures.com
From: SFBirds@groups.io <SFBirds@groups.io> On Behalf Of Richard Bradus via groups.io
Sent: Thursday, June 25, 2020 10:56 AM
To: Brian Fitch <fogeggs@gmail.com>
Cc: SFBirds <sfbirds@groups.io>
Subject: Re: [SFBirds] Mystery song
Hi Brian

You have brought up a most important point, that the actual details of this "sighting" (problematically in this case a "hearing") remain incomplete. Maddeningly so.

As for the analysis of sound recordings, sonograms and spectrographs, there has been significant work in this area over the years (most of which is in scientific journals - which I confess I have mostly not investigated) and they have proven to be very useful. Are they definitive? Well... this is science, after all. More research needed! The recent popularity of recordings and spectrographs I think is due to the acceptance and encouragement of such submissions on the eBird platform (with the Macauley library generating the spectrographs) and especially the wide use of smartphones and the many good recording apps available. By all means we should be encouraging such and submitting more recordings for analysis. If I had a more recent phone I would be doing more myself (the storage on my ancient phone is maxed already unfortunately).

Regarding the identification of the bird in question (and in general), it is important for all of us (myself especially) to keep in mind a tenet of diagnostic medicine: it is much more likely to encounter an uncommon manifestation of a common disease than the common manifestation of a very uncommon disease. A more prosaic way of putting this is "If you hear hoofbeats it is not likely to be a zebra". I think this applies very much to "birding" as well. As I observe more in the field (and, as you know, most "birders" are not really observing), the more surprising things I see and hear - like a White-crowned Sparrow pair nesting in a small tree in a Pacific Heights neighborhood fledging not only one of their own chicks but a Cowbird chick as well (something that I didn't think was possible). So, while it is a bit unlikely for a Bewick's to be singing the same short song variant up in a tree (something I have observed on at least one occasion in Marin county), it is still far more likely than a Blue-winged here. That's my two cents.

Thanks, as always, for sharing your experience and for your thoughtful contributions to the discussion.

Richard
(with apologies to the rest of the community if this is somewhat "off-topic")
On Wednesday, June 24, 2020, 09:44:30 PM PDT, Brian Fitch <fogeggs@gmail.com> wrote:
This is striking a deeper issue for me, so I'll try again.
If this is a Bewick's Wren, then it's not likely a migrant, and it could be out there trilling away in McLaren, if only we knew where to listen and look. I would love to hear and see such an unusual event, as I have no experience in many years of birding with a Bewick's repeating the same odd song, well up in a tree, for such an extended period of time. As I wrote earlier, Bewick's don't tend to do this. (Unfortunately, my italicizing of "likely" and "tend" will probably be lost on Sialia.) Bewick's are famous for giving multiple variations on their theme within a short period, and usually sing from scrubby habitat even where trees are available.
My message this morning was meant as a nudge to a young birder to share more pertinent details about his find, but now he's been redirected to making spectrograms rather than making a complete report of a compelling find.
Are spectrograms an undeniable source for ID, or are they merely the aural equivalent of digital photos? Digital shots have not lessened the human desire to toss opinions around, as witnessed by the amazing exchanges between a panel of experts on Peninsula Birds over the last few days, a discussion in which said experts have not yet agreed on the ID of a young warbler. Conversely, many published photos are unequivocal in their ID usefulness, so perhaps spectrograms are similarly useful much of the time?
I have little experience with using sonagrams, as they were called in my childhood copy of the Golden Guide. The 1966 edition has an introduction to bird song that focuses completely on sonagrams and their interpretation, as if it was the latest new thing in understanding song ID. The book has sonagrams for all four of the species that have been proposed in this thread, but only a single graph for each species, as if there could be no variation. In the intervening years, I've heard little if anything about them, which raises the question of why they fell out of favor if they are so useful. And now they've back under the title of spectrogram. Does this represent some new breakthroughs in sound technology, or is it just a returning trend of the moment, prompted by some new app? eBird has recently been inundated with spectrograms and recordings, but that doesn't clarify the cause of the huge increase, whether it represents a fad or a real advancement in knowledge.
I can see similarities between all three graphs that Frank sent, but none of the three are identical. It would be informative to see a rendering of the wren that Mike describes, as that might supply some correlative facts rather than opinions. Is it a fact that every variation of Bewick's song shows an identical frequency in the trill, and that every Blue-winged also always shows a tighter set of lines? In other words, are the spectrograms truly diagnostic in this case? Is there never variation in frequency to the point of overlap between species?
Most if not all of my on-line arguments of the past decade have been with individuals or panels of experts who were sitting at their screens trying to judge the actual experience of myself or others through technologically rendered derivations, through virtual experience. Virtual versus actual, machine versus human. I know that humans make perceptual errors, but humans make the machines, imbed their biases in them, and then too often compound their errors in the interpretation of the machine's output. And yet here I am trying to compare Eddie's recording and spectrogram to other recordings on Xeno-Canto, so I'm also trying to judge the actual through the virtual, which leaves me more open to the possibility of being flat out wrong about my ID thoughts. Yet there are simply too many odd circumstances involved in this case for me to let a spectrogram rule out other possibilities, unless spectrograms have risen to a new level of diagnostic capacity.
I'm very interested in hearing and seeing the bird that is giving this song, be it a wren, warbler, towhee, or junco. I'm also willing to engage any tool that can help me refine my senses, but not ones that deny human perception or override it in a categorical manner. Binoculars refine my eyesight in every case, but it's unclear to me whether spectrograms are comparable, or if they represent a less reliable tool.
Brian Fitch
On Wed, Jun 24, 2020 at 5:52 PM Daniel Scali <daniel.s.scali@gmail.com> wrote:
This should be better. Sialia doesn't show attachments. If it's still tiny, just look at someone else's post for the Spectogram.

From Denise Wight:

Hi Daniel,

I'm going with Bewick's Wren. In the attached spectrogram, the second trill shows a note at the top, a slight jump, like a dotted "i" which a lot of trilling birds don't have. The tone sounds good for Bewick's Wren, too. Spotted Towhees occasionally have strange two-parted songs, so I thought about that as a possibility, too. But I've heard soooo many Bewick's Wrens that have the most bizarre variations in songs. One at Mitchell Canyon had only two quick, same pitched buzzes for his song, and was found in the same location 2 years in a row!



Subject: Mystery song
Date: Thu Jun 25 2020 12:56 pm
From: grizzledjay=yahoo.com AT groups.io
 
Hi Brian

You have brought up a most important point, that the actual details of this "sighting" (problematically in this case a "hearing") remain incomplete. Maddeningly so.

As for the analysis of sound recordings, sonograms and spectrographs, there has been significant work in this area over the years (most of which is in scientific journals - which I confess I have mostly not investigated) and they have proven to be very useful. Are they definitive? Well... this is science, after all. More research needed! The recent popularity of recordings and spectrographs I think is due to the acceptance and encouragement of such submissions on the eBird platform (with the Macauley library generating the spectrographs) and especially the wide use of smartphones and the many good recording apps available. By all means we should be encouraging such and submitting more recordings for analysis. If I had a more recent phone I would be doing more myself (the storage on my ancient phone is maxed already unfortunately).

Regarding the identification of the bird in question (and in general), it is important for all of us (myself especially) to keep in mind a tenet of diagnostic medicine: it is much more likely to encounter an uncommon manifestation of a common disease than the common manifestation of a very uncommon disease. A more prosaic way of putting this is "If you hear hoofbeats it is not likely to be a zebra". I think this applies very much to "birding" as well. As I observe more in the field (and, as you know, most "birders" are not really observing), the more surprising things I see and hear - like a White-crowned Sparrow pair nesting in a small tree in a Pacific Heights neighborhood fledging not only one of their own chicks but a Cowbird chick as well (something that I didn't think was possible). So, while it is a bit unlikely for a Bewick's to be singing the same short song variant up in a tree (something I have observed on at least one occasion in Marin county), it is still far more likely than a Blue-winged here. That's my two cents.

Thanks, as always, for sharing your experience and for your thoughtful contributions to the discussion.

Richard
(with apologies to the rest of the community if this is somewhat "off-topic")
On Wednesday, June 24, 2020, 09:44:30 PM PDT, Brian Fitch <fogeggs@gmail.com> wrote:

This is striking a deeper issue for me, so I'll try again.If this is a Bewick's Wren, then it's not likely a migrant, and it could be out there trilling away in McLaren, if only we knew where to listen and look. I would love to hear and see such an unusual event, as I have no experience in many years of birding with a Bewick's repeating the same odd song, well up in a tree, for such an extended period of time. As I wrote earlier, Bewick's don't tend to do this. (Unfortunately, my italicizing of "likely" and "tend" will probably be lost on Sialia.) Bewick's are famous for giving multiple variations on their theme within a short period, and usually sing from scrubby habitat even where trees are available.My message this morning was meant as a nudge to a young birder to share more pertinent details about his find, but now he's been redirected to making spectrograms rather than making a complete report of a compelling find.Are spectrograms an undeniable source for ID, or are they merely the aural equivalent of digital photos? Digital shots have not lessened the human desire to toss opinions around, as witnessed by the amazing exchanges between a panel of experts on Peninsula Birds over the last few days, a discussion in which said experts have not yet agreed on the ID of a young warbler. Conversely, many published photos are unequivocal in their ID usefulness, so perhaps spectrograms are similarly useful much of the time? I have little experience with using sonagrams, as they were called in my childhood copy of the Golden Guide. The 1966 edition has an introduction to bird song that focuses completely on sonagrams and their interpretation, as if it was the latest new thing in understanding song ID. The book has sonagrams for all four of the species that have been proposed in this thread, but only a single graph for each species, as if there could be no variation. In the intervening years, I've heard little if anything about them, which raises the question of why they fell out of favor if they are so useful. And now they've back under the title of spectrogram. Does this represent some new breakthroughs in sound technology, or is it just a returning trend of the moment, prompted by some new app? eBird has recently been inundated with spectrograms and recordings, but that doesn't clarify the cause of the huge increase, whether it represents a fad or a real advancement in knowledge. I can see similarities between all three graphs that Frank sent, but none of the three are identical. It would be informative to see a rendering of the wren that Mike describes, as that might supply some correlative facts rather than opinions. Is it a fact that every variation of Bewick's song shows an identical frequency in the trill, and that every Blue-winged also always shows a tighter set of lines? In other words, are the spectrograms truly diagnostic in this case? Is there never variation in frequency to the point of overlap between species?Most if not all of my on-line arguments of the past decade have been with individuals or panels of experts who were sitting at their screens trying to judge the actual experience of myself or others through technologically rendered derivations, through virtual experience. Virtual versus actual, machine versus human. I know that humans make perceptual errors, but humans make the machines, imbed their biases in them, and then too often compound their errors in the interpretation of the machine's output. And yet here I am trying to compare Eddie's recording and spectrogram to other recordings on Xeno-Canto, so I'm also trying to judge the actual through the virtual, which leaves me more open to the possibility of being flat out wrong about my ID thoughts. Yet there are simply too many odd circumstances involved in this case for me to let a spectrogram rule out other possibilities, unless spectrograms have risen to a new level of diagnostic capacity.I'm very interested in hearing and seeing the bird that is giving this song, be it a wren, warbler, towhee, or junco. I'm also willing to engage any tool that can help me refine my senses, but not ones that deny human perception or override it in a categorical manner. Binoculars refine my eyesight in every case, but it's unclear to me whether spectrograms are comparable, or if they represent a less reliable tool.Brian FitchOn Wed, Jun 24, 2020 at 5:52 PM Daniel Scali <daniel.s.scali@gmail.com> wrote:This should be better. Sialia doesn't show attachments. If it's still tiny, just look at someone else's post for the Spectogram.From Denise Wight:Hi Daniel,I'm going with Bewick's Wren. In the attached spectrogram, the second trill shows a note at the top, a slight jump, like a dotted "i" which a lot of trilling birds don't have. The tone sounds good for Bewick's Wren, too. Spotted Towhees occasionally have strange two-parted songs, so I thought about that as a possibility, too. But I've heard soooo many Bewick's Wrens that have the most bizarre variations in songs. One at Mitchell Canyon had only two quick, same pitched buzzes for his song, and was found in the same location 2 years in a row!



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Subject: Mystery song
Date: Thu Jun 25 2020 0:16 am
From: nico AT stuurmanpetrie.com
 
Not to distract from the bird in question (and I think we all deserve a
conclusion to this thread with a visual ID;), but it is my understanding
that sonograms have been in wide use in bird sound research, which
involves extensive field work. I loved reading Donald Kroodsma's "The
singing life of Birds", and can recommend it to anyone interested in
bird song. Only downside is that I don't have a way to play the
included CD;).

Best,

Nico

On 6/24/2020 9:44 PM, Brian Fitch wrote:
> This is striking a deeper issue for me, so I'll try again.
>
> If this is a Bewick's Wren, then it's not*/likely/* a migrant, and it
> could be out there trilling away in McLaren, if only we knew where to
> listen and look. I would love to hear and see such an unusual event,
> as I have no experience in many years of birding with a Bewick's
> repeating the same odd song, well up in a tree, for such an extended
> period of time. As I wrote earlier, Bewick's don't */tend/* to do
> this. (Unfortunately, my italicizing of "likely" and "tend" will
> probably be lost on Sialia.) Bewick's are famous for giving multiple
> variations on their theme within a short period, and usually sing from
> scrubby habitat even where trees are available.
>
> My message this morning was meant as a nudge to a young birder to
> share more pertinent details about his find, but now he's been
> redirected to making spectrograms rather than making a complete report
> of a compelling find.
>
> Are spectrograms an undeniable source for ID, or are they merely the
> aural equivalent of digital photos? Digital shots have not lessened
> the human desire to toss opinions around, as witnessed by the amazing
> exchanges between a panel of experts on Peninsula Birds over the last
> few days, a discussion in which said experts have not yet agreed on
> the ID of a young warbler. Conversely, many published photos are
> unequivocal in their ID usefulness, so perhaps spectrograms are
> similarly useful much of the time?
>
> I have little experience with using sonagrams, as they were called in
> my childhood copy of the Golden Guide. The 1966 edition has an
> introduction to bird song that focuses completely on sonagrams and
> their interpretation, as if it was the latest new thing in
> understanding song ID. The book has sonagrams for all four of the
> species that have been proposed in this thread, but only a single
> graph for each species, as if there could be no variation. In the
> intervening years, I've heard little if anything about them, which
> raises the question of why they fell out of favor if they are so
> useful. And now they've back under the title of spectrogram. Does
> this represent some new breakthroughs in sound technology, or is it
> just a returning trend of the moment, prompted by some new app? eBird
> has recently been inundated with spectrograms and recordings, but that
> doesn't clarify the cause of the huge increase, whether it represents
> a fad or a real advancement in knowledge.
>
> I can see similarities between all three graphs that Frank sent, but
> none of the three are identical. It would be informative to see a
> rendering of the wren that Mike describes, as that might supply some
> correlative facts rather than opinions. Is it a fact that every
> variation of Bewick's song shows an identical frequency in the trill,
> and that every Blue-winged also always shows a tighter set of lines?
> In other words, are the spectrograms truly diagnostic in this case?
> Is there never variation in frequency to the point of overlap between
> species?
>
> Most if not all of my on-line arguments of the past decade have been
> with individuals or panels of experts who were sitting at their
> screens trying to judge the /*actual*/ experience of myself or others
> through technologically rendered derivations, through /*virtual*/
> experience. Virtual versus actual, machine versus human. I know that
> humans make perceptual errors, but humans make the machines, imbed
> their biases in them, and then too often compound their errors in the
> interpretation of the machine's output. And yet here I am trying to
> compare Eddie's recording and spectrogram to other recordings on
> Xeno-Canto, so I'm also trying to judge the actual through the
> virtual, which leaves me more open to the possibility of being flat
> out wrong about my ID thoughts. Yet there are simply too many odd
> circumstances involved in this case for me to let a spectrogram rule
> out other possibilities, unless spectrograms have risen to a new level
> of diagnostic capacity.
>
> I'm very interested in hearing and seeing the bird that is giving this
> song, be it a wren, warbler, towhee, or junco. I'm also willing to
> engage any tool that can help me refine my senses, but not ones that
> deny human perception or override it in a categorical manner.
> Binoculars refine my eyesight in every case, but it's unclear to me
> whether spectrograms are comparable, or if they represent a less
> reliable tool.
>
> Brian Fitch
>
>
>
> On Wed, Jun 24, 2020 at 5:52 PM Daniel Scali > wrote:
>
> This should be better. Sialia doesn't show attachments. If it's
> still tiny, just look at someone else's post for the Spectogram.
>
> From Denise Wight:
>
> Hi Daniel,
> I'm going with Bewick's Wren. In the attached spectrogram, the
> second trill shows a note at the top, a slight jump, like a dotted
> "i" which a lot of trilling birds don't have. The tone sounds good
> for Bewick's Wren, too. Spotted Towhees occasionally have strange
> two-parted songs, so I thought about that as a possibility, too.
> But I've heard soooo many Bewick's Wrens that have the most
> bizarre variations in songs. One at Mitchell Canyon had only two
> quick, same pitched buzzes for his song, and was found in the same
> location 2 years in a row!
>
>
>


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Subject: Mystery song
Date: Wed Jun 24 2020 23:44 pm
From: fogeggs AT gmail.com
 
This is striking a deeper issue for me, so I'll try again.
If this is a Bewick's Wren, then it's not likely a migrant, and it could be out there trilling away in McLaren, if only we knew where to listen and look. I would love to hear and see such an unusual event, as I have no experience in many years of birding with a Bewick's repeating the same odd song, well up in a tree, for such an extended period of time. As I wrote earlier, Bewick's don't tend to do this. (Unfortunately, my italicizing of "likely" and "tend" will probably be lost on Sialia.) Bewick's are famous for giving multiple variations on their theme within a short period, and usually sing from scrubby habitat even where trees are available.

My message this morning was meant as a nudge to a young birder to share more pertinent details about his find, but now he's been redirected to making spectrograms rather than making a complete report of a compelling find.

Are spectrograms an undeniable source for ID, or are they merely the aural equivalent of digital photos? Digital shots have not lessened the human desire to toss opinions around, as witnessed by the amazing exchanges between a panel of experts on Peninsula Birds over the last few days, a discussion in which said experts have not yet agreed on the ID of a young warbler. Conversely, many published photos are unequivocal in their ID usefulness, so perhaps spectrograms are similarly useful much of the time?

I have little experience with using sonagrams, as they were called in my childhood copy of the Golden Guide. The 1966 edition has an introduction to bird song that focuses completely on sonagrams and their interpretation, as if it was the latest new thing in understanding song ID. The book has sonagrams for all four of the species that have been proposed in this thread, but only a single graph for each species, as if there could be no variation. In the intervening years, I've heard little if anything about them, which raises the question of why they fell out of favor if they are so useful. And now they've back under the title of spectrogram. Does this represent some new breakthroughs in sound technology, or is it just a returning trend of the moment, prompted by some new app? eBird has recently been inundated with spectrograms and recordings, but that doesn't clarify the cause of the huge increase, whether it represents a fad or a real advancement in knowledge.

I can see similarities between all three graphs that Frank sent, but none of the three are identical. It would be informative to see a rendering of the wren that Mike describes, as that might supply some correlative facts rather than opinions. Is it a fact that every variation of Bewick's song shows an identical frequency in the trill, and that every Blue-winged also always shows a tighter set of lines? In other words, are the spectrograms truly diagnostic in this case? Is there never variation in frequency to the point of overlap between species?

Most if not all of my on-line arguments of the past decade have been with individuals or panels of experts who were sitting at their screens trying to judge the actual experience of myself or others through technologically rendered derivations, through virtual experience. Virtual versus actual, machine versus human. I know that humans make perceptual errors, but humans make the machines, imbed their biases in them, and then too often compound their errors in the interpretation of the machine's output. And yet here I am trying to compare Eddie's recording and spectrogram to other recordings on Xeno-Canto, so I'm also trying to judge the actual through the virtual, which leaves me more open to the possibility of being flat out wrong about my ID thoughts. Yet there are simply too many odd circumstances involved in this case for me to let a spectrogram rule out other possibilities, unless spectrograms have risen to a new level of diagnostic capacity.

I'm very interested in hearing and seeing the bird that is giving this song, be it a wren, warbler, towhee, or junco. I'm also willing to engage any tool that can help me refine my senses, but not ones that deny human perception or override it in a categorical manner. Binoculars refine my eyesight in every case, but it's unclear to me whether spectrograms are comparable, or if they represent a less reliable tool.

Brian Fitch



On Wed, Jun 24, 2020 at 5:52 PM Daniel Scali <daniel.s.scali@gmail.com> wrote:
This should be better. Sialia doesn't show attachments. If it's still tiny, just look at someone else's post for the Spectogram.

From Denise Wight:

Hi Daniel,

I'm going with Bewick's Wren. In the attached spectrogram, the second trill shows a note at the top, a slight jump, like a dotted "i" which a lot of trilling birds don't have. The tone sounds good for Bewick's Wren, too. Spotted Towhees occasionally have strange two-parted songs, so I thought about that as a possibility, too. But I've heard soooo many Bewick's Wrens that have the most bizarre variations in songs. One at Mitchell Canyon had only two quick, same pitched buzzes for his song, and was found in the same location 2 years in a row!










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Subject: Mystery song
Date: Wed Jun 24 2020 19:52 pm
From: daniel.s.scali AT gmail.com
 
This should be better. Sialia doesn't show attachments. If it's still tiny, just look at someone else's post for the Spectogram.

From Denise Wight:

Hi Daniel,

I'm going with Bewick's Wren. In the attached spectrogram, the second trill shows a note at the top, a slight jump, like a dotted "i" which a lot of trilling birds don't have. The tone sounds good for Bewick's Wren, too. Spotted Towhees occasionally have strange two-parted songs, so I thought about that as a possibility, too. But I've heard soooo many Bewick's Wrens that have the most bizarre variations in songs. One at Mitchell Canyon had only two quick, same pitched buzzes for his song, and was found in the same location 2 years in a row!

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Subject: Mystery song
Date: Wed Jun 24 2020 17:57 pm
From: eg40monson AT gmail.com
 
Hi all,Just thought I should add my checklist with the spectrogram for those who haven't seen one (thank you Frank F. for including those).https://ebird.org/checklist/S7...
On Wed, Jun 24, 2020 at 3:05 PM John Sterling <jsterling@wavecable.com> wrote:
Just need to add that bewicks wrens singing high up in trees is not unusual.



John Sterling530 908-383626 Palm AveWoodland, CA 95695
On Jun 24, 2020, at 3:01 PM, Alvaro Jaramillo <chucao@coastside.net> wrote:

Brian Make a spectrogram of that song, and then compare it to Blue-wings. It is quite different in its frequency range and average frequency. This is in addition to the overall structure of the trills. I think that needs to enter the discussion. In short it actually does not sound like a Blue-winged Warbler. I have no horse in this race, and if the final outcome is that there is a Blue-winged Warbler out there that would be awesome. A preferred outcome! So I am just offering an opinion that can hopefully be taken as neutral here. But the best way to compare is to make a picture of the sounds to get a sense for how it differs from a Blue-winged. Alvaro Alvaro Jaramilloalvaro@alvarosadventures.comwww.alvarosadventures.comFrom: SFBirds@groups.io <SFBirds@groups.io> On Behalf Of Brian Fitch
Sent: Wednesday, June 24, 2020 2:24 PM
Cc: SF Birds <SFBirds@groups.io>
Subject: Re: [SFBirds] Mystery songI received a partial reply from Eddie to the effect that the bird was heard singing both late morning and again late afternoon, both times at mid to upper levels of the trees. Neither Spotted Towhees nor Bewick's Wrens tend to sing for long periods in the canopy, and while I've heard this cadence from Bewick's, as Eddie related, I've never heard this tone from Bewick's. When you add the further circumstantial evidence of having multiple eastern warblers having passed through California this spring, and the fact that several out of place warblers are currently singing for 2-3 consecutive days here in SF, I respectfully submit that this recording should not be passed off too blythely. Listen to Eddie's recordings, then hit Xeno-Canto and listen to any number of Blue-winged Warblers on that site and compare for yourself.I still don't know where the singing occurred, and am unwilling to wander the perimeter of the golf course and the housing projects until a more precise locale is available, and the bird may not have followed the example of the Hooded and the Redstarts, and may be gone. There is only one previous city record that I know of, Michele Brodie's find on Mt Davidson in the fall many years ago, which only one other birder was able to see before it flew.Brian FitchOn Wed, Jun 24, 2020 at 1:01 PM m_m_rogers <m.m.rogers@comcast.net> wrote:All,

I think Bewick's Wren is the right answer for this one. I've had a Bewick's Wren singing this dialect in my back yard (Sunnyvale) for a couple years now. When it first arrived, it had me hoping for Blue-winged Warbler as well.

Mike Rogers
Sunnyvale, CA











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Subject: Singing Warbling Vireo
Date: Wed Jun 24 2020 17:50 pm
From: daniel.s.scali AT gmail.com
 
Hi again,

Vocalizing a while now in large oak and bay (guess!) trees 100 yds south of large redwood in Bunny Meadow in Golden Gate Park. In other words in the woods. Same longitude as Lily Pond. West of conservatory of flowers.

This spot has been very active in the fall with Wavi so there™s a chance it™s breeding nearby.

Chowder,
Dan

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Subject: Mystery song
Date: Wed Jun 24 2020 17:43 pm
From: daniel.s.scali AT gmail.com
 
Denise™s take attached (hopefully):

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Subject: Mystery song
Date: Wed Jun 24 2020 17:05 pm
From: jsterling AT wavecable.com
 
Just need to add that bewicks wrens singing high up in trees is not unusual.



John Sterling530 908-383626 Palm AveWoodland, CA 95695
On Jun 24, 2020, at 3:01 PM, Alvaro Jaramillo <chucao@coastside.net> wrote:

Brian
Make a spectrogram of that song, and then compare it to Blue-wings. It is quite different in its frequency range and average frequency. This is in addition to the overall structure of the trills. I think that needs to enter the discussion. In short it actually does not sound like a Blue-winged Warbler. I have no horse in this race, and if the final outcome is that there is a Blue-winged Warbler out there that would be awesome. A preferred outcome! So I am just offering an opinion that can hopefully be taken as neutral here. But the best way to compare is to make a picture of the sounds to get a sense for how it differs from a Blue-winged.
Alvaro
Alvaro Jaramillo
alvaro@alvarosadventures.com
www.alvarosadventures.com
From: SFBirds@groups.io <SFBirds@groups.io> On Behalf Of Brian Fitch
Sent: Wednesday, June 24, 2020 2:24 PM
Cc: SF Birds <SFBirds@groups.io>
Subject: Re: [SFBirds] Mystery song
I received a partial reply from Eddie to the effect that the bird was heard singing both late morning and again late afternoon, both times at mid to upper levels of the trees. Neither Spotted Towhees nor Bewick's Wrens tend to sing for long periods in the canopy, and while I've heard this cadence from Bewick's, as Eddie related, I've never heard this tone from Bewick's.
When you add the further circumstantial evidence of having multiple eastern warblers having passed through California this spring, and the fact that several out of place warblers are currently singing for 2-3 consecutive days here in SF, I respectfully submit that this recording should not be passed off too blythely. Listen to Eddie's recordings, then hit Xeno-Canto and listen to any number of Blue-winged Warblers on that site and compare for yourself.
I still don't know where the singing occurred, and am unwilling to wander the perimeter of the golf course and the housing projects until a more precise locale is available, and the bird may not have followed the example of the Hooded and the Redstarts, and may be gone. There is only one previous city record that I know of, Michele Brodie's find on Mt Davidson in the fall many years ago, which only one other birder was able to see before it flew.
Brian Fitch
On Wed, Jun 24, 2020 at 1:01 PM m_m_rogers <m.m.rogers@comcast.net> wrote:
All,

I think Bewick's Wren is the right answer for this one. I've had a Bewick's Wren singing this dialect in my back yard (Sunnyvale) for a couple years now. When it first arrived, it had me hoping for Blue-winged Warbler as well.

Mike Rogers
Sunnyvale, CA



Subject: Mystery song
Date: Wed Jun 24 2020 17:01 pm
From: chucao AT coastside.net
 
Brian
Make a spectrogram of that song, and then compare it to Blue-wings. It is quite different in its frequency range and average frequency. This is in addition to the overall structure of the trills. I think that needs to enter the discussion. In short it actually does not sound like a Blue-winged Warbler. I have no horse in this race, and if the final outcome is that there is a Blue-winged Warbler out there that would be awesome. A preferred outcome! So I am just offering an opinion that can hopefully be taken as neutral here. But the best way to compare is to make a picture of the sounds to get a sense for how it differs from a Blue-winged.
Alvaro
Alvaro Jaramillo
alvaro@alvarosadventures.com
www.alvarosadventures.com
From: SFBirds@groups.io <SFBirds@groups.io> On Behalf Of Brian Fitch
Sent: Wednesday, June 24, 2020 2:24 PM
Cc: SF Birds <SFBirds@groups.io>
Subject: Re: [SFBirds] Mystery song
I received a partial reply from Eddie to the effect that the bird was heard singing both late morning and again late afternoon, both times at mid to upper levels of the trees. Neither Spotted Towhees nor Bewick's Wrens tend to sing for long periods in the canopy, and while I've heard this cadence from Bewick's, as Eddie related, I've never heard this tone from Bewick's.
When you add the further circumstantial evidence of having multiple eastern warblers having passed through California this spring, and the fact that several out of place warblers are currently singing for 2-3 consecutive days here in SF, I respectfully submit that this recording should not be passed off too blythely. Listen to Eddie's recordings, then hit Xeno-Canto and listen to any number of Blue-winged Warblers on that site and compare for yourself.
I still don't know where the singing occurred, and am unwilling to wander the perimeter of the golf course and the housing projects until a more precise locale is available, and the bird may not have followed the example of the Hooded and the Redstarts, and may be gone. There is only one previous city record that I know of, Michele Brodie's find on Mt Davidson in the fall many years ago, which only one other birder was able to see before it flew.
Brian Fitch
On Wed, Jun 24, 2020 at 1:01 PM m_m_rogers <m.m.rogers@comcast.net> wrote:
All,

I think Bewick's Wren is the right answer for this one. I've had a Bewick's Wren singing this dialect in my back yard (Sunnyvale) for a couple years now. When it first arrived, it had me hoping for Blue-winged Warbler as well.

Mike Rogers
Sunnyvale, CA



Subject: Mystery song
Date: Wed Jun 24 2020 16:51 pm
From: fogartyfa AT gmail.com
 
As Alvaro mentioned, the pitch of the trill is too low for Blue-winged (and
spot-on for Bewick's Wren). Attached is a sonogram of the mystery call, as
well as a BWWA and BEWR. The highest energy portion of the mystery trill is
centered around 4.5-5 kHz, whereas it should be close to 7 kHz for a BWWA.
Spotted Towhee trills are a similar frequency to Bewick's, but the opening
notes tend to be lower, rather than a similar frequency to the trill.

Frank Fogarty
Arcata

On Wed, Jun 24, 2020 at 2:24 PM Brian Fitch wrote:

> I received a partial reply from Eddie to the effect that the bird was
> heard singing both late morning and again late afternoon, both times at mid
> to upper levels of the trees. Neither Spotted Towhees nor Bewick's Wrens
> tend to sing for long periods in the canopy, and while I've heard this
> cadence from Bewick's, as Eddie related, I've never heard this tone from
> Bewick's.
>
> When you add the further circumstantial evidence of having multiple
> eastern warblers having passed through California this spring, and the fact
> that several out of place warblers are currently singing for 2-3
> consecutive days here in SF, I respectfully submit that this recording
> should not be passed off too blythely. Listen to Eddie's recordings, then
> hit Xeno-Canto and listen to any number of Blue-winged Warblers on that
> site and compare for yourself.
>
> I still don't know where the singing occurred, and am unwilling to wander
> the perimeter of the golf course and the housing projects until a more
> precise locale is available, and the bird may not have followed the example
> of the Hooded and the Redstarts, and may be gone. There is only one
> previous city record that I know of, Michele Brodie's find on Mt Davidson
> in the fall many years ago, which only one other birder was able to see
> before it flew.
> Brian Fitch
>
> On Wed, Jun 24, 2020 at 1:01 PM m_m_rogers wrote:
>
>> All,
>>
>> I think Bewick's Wren is the right answer for this one. I've had a
>> Bewick's Wren singing this dialect in my back yard (Sunnyvale) for a couple
>> years now. When it first arrived, it had me hoping for Blue-winged Warbler
>> as well.
>>
>> Mike Rogers
>> Sunnyvale, CA
>>
>>
>
>

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