Archive for the ‘Fringillidae’ Category

Pine Siskin Mimicry

Sunday, February 13th, 2011

I spent yesterday morning recording Pine Siskins in Whitnall Park, Hales Corner, WI. They were extremely vocal and I managed to make some good recordings of group singing. Recording an isolated individual singing, so that you could really hear the song components, proved to be tricky, but eventually I did find one off by itself who briefly sang into my microphone.

Pine Siskin wind up call and song


Two summers ago David Sibley posted an article on his excellent blog about Vocal copying in Pine Siskins. He writes about the under reported phenomenon of Pine Siskin mimicry, and one of the species mentioned as being imitated is Dark-eyed Junco, specifically the “tew-tew-tew” call. Having read the article, I was keeping an eye and ear open for examples of mimicry when I replayed my recordings, and as luck would have it, I did capture an imitation of the Dark-eyed Junco “tew-tew-tew” at the very end of this brief song. There may be other imitations in here as well, so please leave a comment if you think you can detect any.

American Goldfinch

Saturday, November 7th, 2009

American Goldfinch (Carduelis tristis), June 27, 2009, Jackson Marsh, Washington County, WI.

American Goldfinch

American Goldfinch

I’ve searched the archives at Xeno-Canto and Macaulay Library but I haven’t been able to find another recording of this particular vocalization. Superficially it is similar to the well-know “potato-chip” flight call, but the speed of delivery is faster, the notes are ascending, and there are more than 4 notes per series. Unfortunately I do not know the sex of the bird vocalizing. I observed a pair of goldfinches fly into an area of dense shrubbery and this is the sound that came forth. I didn’t have a visual of the bird while I was recording. Given that, I cannot be 100% certain that this is actually an American Goldfinch, but considering the overall quality of the vocalization, the location, season, and circumstance, I believe it is a fair call.