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Apparent Eastern Whip-poor-will at Aptos in Santa Cruz County

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  • David Suddjian
    Birders, Last night I was alerted by Melanie Wirtanen to the presence of a bird thought to be a Mexican Whip-poor-will in Aptos. The bird had been present for
    Message 1 of 2 , May 25, 2013
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      Birders,

      Last night I was alerted by Melanie Wirtanen to the presence of a bird
      thought to be a Mexican Whip-poor-will in Aptos. The bird had been present
      for at least a week, and maybe several days longer than that, and had been
      noted as unusual by Melanie and her husband, and Patti and Graham Bubb, and
      Melanie was able to determine it was a whip-poor-will. This evening (May
      25) I went to hear it with Alex Rinkert, John Garrett and Lois and Wally
      Goldfrank. We were expecting to encounter a Mexican Whip-poor-will. The
      bird began to call in the distance at 8:32 pm. At first it was far off and
      hard to hear, but later we heard it very well and began to realize that the
      call did not match that of Mexican, but thought it might be an Eastern
      Whip-poor-will! We listened to it as it called in bouts for over an hour
      and eventually heard it at fairly close range and Alex obtained some
      recordings of the call on his camera (and I some lesser quality recordings
      on my lesser quality camera). After we got back in cell reception we
      compared what we heard and Alex's recording to some recordings on line and
      we believe it is an Eastern Whip-poor-will (which if accepted would be the
      2nd CA record, I believe). We welcome informed opinions.

      Alex's recording from his video is here:
      http://www.flickr.com/photos/bdmanzanita/8837432778/

      Generally speaking, this bird's call had a fairly clear 1st note, a 2nd
      note with a quaver or slight burr, and a highest 3rd note that seemed say
      'will' and had a slight down inflection. In contrast, the Mexican has 1st
      and 2nd notes that are both burry (and much more so than the Aptos bird),
      and the third note is more a 'wee' and does not have a down inflection.

      The bird is located along a private road which requires passage through a
      combination gate. Fortunately, Patti and Graham Bubb are extending to
      birders some very hospitable access through June 2, after which time they
      will be away. Patti invites birders to call her to arrange permission to
      visit. 831 689-0331. We hope everyone will be courteous and respectful.

      Call first for permission, but here are the directions to get you there.
      Take Freedom Blvd from Highway 1 and go 0.9 mile to Valencia Road. Go left
      on Valencia Road for 1.1 miles to Cox Road. Go right on Cox Road for 1.0
      mile and veer left onto a private drive at a bank of mailboxes located on
      the left side. Here you enter Valencia Creek Ranch. After about 0.1 mile
      you come to a gate with a keypad combination, which can be obtained by
      calling Patti Bubb. After passing through the gate, you immediately pass a
      white house on he left, then a low red barn-type structure, and park near
      the barn, There is a house with a redwood board fence immediately ahead.
      The bird has been heard right near that house, but tonight we heard it west
      of that house, across the nearby drainage which is Valencia Creek. The road
      forks just pass the house and the left fork dips down to cross the creek
      and doubles back as it climbs out of the creek. We were within 75 meters of
      the bird about 200 meters after crossing the creek. It was calling from a
      patch of scrub that is upslope. Patti reports that it calls most of the
      night. She thought it began at 8:15 last night, but tonight it was at 8:32
      pm.

      David Suddjian
      Capitola


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Lance Benner
      All, I agree that this doesn t sound like a Mexican whip-poor-will. For comparison, I recorded a Mexican whip-poor-will at Green Canyon in the San Bernardino
      Message 2 of 2 , May 26, 2013
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        All,

        I agree that this doesn't sound like a Mexican whip-poor-will. For
        comparison, I recorded a Mexican whip-poor-will at Green Canyon in the
        San Bernardino Mountains on Tuesday night (May 21) and uploaded one of
        my files to Xeno-Canto at:

        http://www.xeno-canto.org/134482

        You can listen to it for comparison with the bird that David just
        reported. The two birds sound distinctly different. That said, when I
        generated a sonogram of Alex Rinkert's recording and compared it with a
        sonogram of the Eastern Whip-poor-will on the Stokes Eastern Birds CD,
        they aren't a perfect match, but the bird near Santa Cruz sounds MUCH
        more like an eastern whip than a Mexican. After poking around a bit
        with recordings of Eastern whips on Xeno-Canto, it's clear that there's
        some variation in the cadence and structure of eastern whip calls.

        Really nice find and a very, very nice recording!

        Regards,

        Lance Benner
        Altadena, CA


        On Sat, May 25, 2013 at 11:26 PM, David Suddjian wrote:

        > Birders,
        >
        > Last night I was alerted by Melanie Wirtanen to the presence of a bird
        > thought to be a Mexican Whip-poor-will in Aptos. The bird had been
        > present
        > for at least a week, and maybe several days longer than that, and had
        > been
        > noted as unusual by Melanie and her husband, and Patti and Graham
        > Bubb, and
        > Melanie was able to determine it was a whip-poor-will. This evening
        > (May
        > 25) I went to hear it with Alex Rinkert, John Garrett and Lois and
        > Wally
        > Goldfrank. We were expecting to encounter a Mexican Whip-poor-will.
        > The
        > bird began to call in the distance at 8:32 pm. At first it was far off
        > and
        > hard to hear, but later we heard it very well and began to realize
        > that the
        > call did not match that of Mexican, but thought it might be an Eastern
        > Whip-poor-will! We listened to it as it called in bouts for over an
        > hour
        > and eventually heard it at fairly close range and Alex obtained some
        > recordings of the call on his camera (and I some lesser quality
        > recordings
        > on my lesser quality camera). After we got back in cell reception we
        > compared what we heard and Alex's recording to some recordings on line
        > and
        > we believe it is an Eastern Whip-poor-will (which if accepted would be
        > the
        > 2nd CA record, I believe). We welcome informed opinions.
        >
        > Alex's recording from his video is here:
        > http://www.flickr.com/photos/bdmanzanita/8837432778/
        >
        > Generally speaking, this bird's call had a fairly clear 1st note, a
        > 2nd
        > note with a quaver or slight burr, and a highest 3rd note that seemed
        > say
        > 'will' and had a slight down inflection. In contrast, the Mexican has
        > 1st
        > and 2nd notes that are both burry (and much more so than the Aptos
        > bird),
        > and the third note is more a 'wee' and does not have a down
        > inflection.
        >
        > The bird is located along a private road which requires passage
        > through a
        > combination gate. Fortunately, Patti and Graham Bubb are extending to
        > birders some very hospitable access through June 2, after which time
        > they
        > will be away. Patti invites birders to call her to arrange permission
        > to
        > visit. 831 689-0331. We hope everyone will be courteous and
        > respectful.
        >
        > Call first for permission, but here are the directions to get you
        > there.
        > Take Freedom Blvd from Highway 1 and go 0.9 mile to Valencia Road. Go
        > left
        > on Valencia Road for 1.1 miles to Cox Road. Go right on Cox Road for
        > 1.0
        > mile and veer left onto a private drive at a bank of mailboxes located
        > on
        > the left side. Here you enter Valencia Creek Ranch. After about 0.1
        > mile
        > you come to a gate with a keypad combination, which can be obtained by
        > calling Patti Bubb. After passing through the gate, you immediately
        > pass a
        > white house on he left, then a low red barn-type structure, and park
        > near
        > the barn, There is a house with a redwood board fence immediately
        > ahead.
        > The bird has been heard right near that house, but tonight we heard it
        > west
        > of that house, across the nearby drainage which is Valencia Creek. The
        > road
        > forks just pass the house and the left fork dips down to cross the
        > creek
        > and doubles back as it climbs out of the creek. We were within 75
        > meters of
        > the bird about 200 meters after crossing the creek. It was calling
        > from a
        > patch of scrub that is upslope. Patti reports that it calls most of
        > the
        > night. She thought it began at 8:15 last night, but tonight it was at
        > 8:32
        > pm.
        >
        > David Suddjian
        > Capitola
        >
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
        >
        >
        > ------------------------------------
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