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Yet another request for blackbird ID

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  • njfwalking
    Last Sunday a new bird visited our feeders. Since it hung around most of the day, I had ample time to observe it and then consult my field guides (Kauffman,
    Message 1 of 3 , Apr 4, 2003
      Last Sunday a new bird visited our feeders. Since it hung around most
      of the day, I had ample time to observe it and then consult my field
      guides (Kauffman, Petersen, Geographic, and Audubon). It looked
      exactly like a tricolored blackbird, EXCEPT there was no white at all
      on its wings, though a rust-colored patch was very apparent. Also, the
      bird was by itself; no others like it were around.

      In the last three years I've observed 38 different species in this
      location: the front yard of our rustic cabin that's basically oak
      woodland with olive trees and conifers at the 2500 ft. level in the
      Cleveland National Forest. But never saw this bird, until last Sunday.

      The bird was very social; clearly curious about us as we sat outside
      at the patio table eating breakfast. It sat on the perch of one of our
      feeders not more than 6 feet away from us, eating the black oil
      sunflower seeds. And its call was like nothing we'd ever heard before:
      a short, sharp note (like a high-pitched flute), followed by a
      warbling 3-note repertoire, and then the single note again. It was
      quite loud, too.

      Any ideas? Could it have been an immature tricolored? Or some kind
      of variant?

      Thanks for any leads,

      Nancy
    • MiriamEagl@aol.com
      Hi, Nancy (and all) In a message dated 4/4/2003 11:23:25 AM Pacific Standard Time, ... The vocalization sure sounds like a Redwing to me, and not a Tricolored;
      Message 2 of 3 , Apr 5, 2003
        Hi, Nancy (and all)

        In a message dated 4/4/2003 11:23:25 AM Pacific Standard Time,
        nancjune@... writes:

        > And its call was like nothing we'd ever heard before:
        > a short, sharp note (like a high-pitched flute), followed by a
        > warbling 3-note repertoire, and then the single note again. It was
        > quite loud, too.
        >
        > Any ideas? Could it have been an immature tricolored? Or some kind
        > of variant?
        >

        The vocalization sure sounds like a Redwing to me, and not a Tricolored;
        Redwing call notes are quite variable, and they DO have one in their
        repertoire that fits your description of a sharp, high-pitched flute. The
        warbling three-note call sounds like one of their song variations as well,
        but without actually hearing it myself, I couldn't tell you for sure.
        Tricoloreds' call notes tend to be rather harsh and metallic, some of them
        reminiscent of Brewer's Blackbirds, and their song sounds like a cat being
        strangled... Also the description of the shoulder being "rust colored" leans
        more towards Redwing to me.

        Hope this helps! Take care,

        Mary Beth Stowe
        MiriamEagl@...
        San Diego, CA


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • njfwalking
        ... Tricolored; ... flute. The ... well, ... sure. ... of them ... being ... colored leans ... Thanks, mary (and everyone else who resoponded to my query)!
        Message 3 of 3 , Apr 7, 2003
          --- In CALBIRDS@yahoogroups.com, MiriamEagl@a... wrote:
          > Hi, Nancy (and all)
          >
          > The vocalization sure sounds like a Redwing to me, and not a
          Tricolored;
          > Redwing call notes are quite variable, and they DO have one in their
          > repertoire that fits your description of a sharp, high-pitched
          flute. The
          > warbling three-note call sounds like one of their song variations as
          well,
          > but without actually hearing it myself, I couldn't tell you for
          sure.
          > Tricoloreds' call notes tend to be rather harsh and metallic, some
          of them
          > reminiscent of Brewer's Blackbirds, and their song sounds like a cat
          being
          > strangled... Also the description of the shoulder being "rust
          colored" leans
          > more towards Redwing to me.
          >
          > Hope this helps! Take care,
          >
          > Mary Beth Stowe
          > MiriamEagl@a...
          > San Diego, CA

          Thanks, mary (and everyone else who resoponded to my query)!
          Though I didn't see the bird last weekend, I did consult my
          Sibley's Guide. And wow! Finally, a picture of a Bicolored
          redwing blackbird. It was the bird I saw, for sure. I'm so
          glad to have it identified!

          Also last weekend the Black-headed grosbeaks were back,
          and what beautiful birds they are! I don't remember seeing
          any last year at all. Maybe they come every other year,
          like Pine siskens.

          Nancy Feagans
          Cleveland National Forest, CA
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