Re: Mystery song

Alvaro Jaramillo


  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 Jaramillo



From: <> On Behalf Of Brian Fitch
Sent: Wednesday, June 24, 2020 2:24 PM
Cc: SF Birds <>
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 <> wrote:


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

Join to automatically receive all group messages.