Archive for November, 2009

Marsh Wren – subsong and crystallized song

Friday, November 27th, 2009

This fall I recorded two separate instances of sub-song in the Marsh Wren (Cistothorus palustris) .

1) Vernon Marsh, Waukesha County, WI. September 6, 2009.

Marsh Wren subsong

Marsh Wren subsong

2) Horicon Marsh, WI, November 8, 2009. This is a very late date for Marsh Wrens in Wisconsin. The BNA account mentions juveniles practicing song into October, so in that respect this seems rather late as well.

Marsh Wren subsong

Marsh Wren subsong

The Marsh Wren quality is evident in these juvenile efforts but they lack the organization, structure and assurance of the adult song.

Compare to adult – recorded at Vernon Marsh on June 14, 2009. Here we have six songs sung in succession, all different (immediate variety) but all highly structured, with definite organization and exact duplication of song units.

Marsh Wren

Marsh Wren

Marsh Wren

Marsh Wren

Marsh Wren

Marsh Wren

Marsh Wren

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.