Date   

Re: Lawrence's Goldfinch family In Presidio - new (old) hotspot

Richard Bradus
 

Hi Mike (and community)

Of course, we should always be cognizant of potential disturbance to the animals we wish to see and enjoy, particularly during breeding, so discretion is warranted.

Having said that, the area where the Lawrence's Goldfinches have been seen is actually pretty heavily traveled by walkers, dog-walkers, runners and neighborhood families, and has been undergoing restoration (replanting of the "Western forest" and removal of most of the eucalyptus and old cypress trees to open up for scrub and more native vegetation) for awhile.

I have been occasionally visiting this area over the past couple of years and have been reporting as a Personal Hotspot on eBird (most recent: https://ebird.org/checklist/S69190729) - the area at the southeast corner of the Presidio including the trails leading parallel and from West Pacific Ave. and Paul Goode Field. After mulling over this (for too long!) I have now submitted a request that this be made into a Hotspot available to all, particularly in view of the recent reports of Lawrence's Goldfinches in this area (and I wonder if I actually may have seen them here before but not been able to ID...).

Hopefully this Presidio--Southeast Hotspot will be available for all to record our recent visits - and it is an area that has been under-explored but has promise for additional discoveries as the ongoing restoration continues.
Good luck to all (birding with care).

Richard Bradus
San Francisco

On Thursday, June 25, 2020, 09:58:08 PM PDT, Mike Carozza <mike.carozza@...> wrote:


Wow! This seems like a situation where birders need to be extremely careful so as not to stress them since they’re spending time on the ground? 

I want to visit but would love to hear from an expert in that regard. 

MC

On Thu, Jun 25, 2020 at 7:27 PM Lee-Hong Chang via groups.io <lhchang825=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Aaron, sorry! I meant Hooded Oriole as described in my ebird checklist. Somehow Hooded Oriole transformed into Jooeded Warbler when using smartphone technology.

Two Lawrence's Goldfinch photos were also added to my ebird checklist - https://ebird.org/checklist/S70815669?view=photos

Thank you Mick for your awesome survey of this area to bring attention to us to bird this location that resulted in this unrepresented finding.

Good luck if you try to re-find the LAGO family. Patience is definitely needed as it took me only approximately a week. But they should be still around, since the youngster(s) is/are still young.

Lee



On Thursday, June 25, 2020, 1:46:02 PM PDT, Mick Griffin <londontile@...> wrote:


Have seen plenty of Lesser Goldfinches in that field and adjacent areas but no Lawrence…...will have to go back again..






Mick Griffin
LONDON TILE
415.302.1489





On Jun 25, 2020, at 12:55 PM, Aaron Maizlish <amm.birdlists@...> wrote:

Thanks Lee (and Lee!).  I’ll go look later this afternoon.

Did you mean Hooded Oriole family?   I’m not aware of any breeding efforts by Hooded Warblers in California this year.

Thanks,

Aaron Maizlish
SF

On Jun 25, 2020, at 12:53 PM, Lee-Hong Chang via groups.io <lhchang825@...> wrote:

Hi, 
Today (June 25), following a tip from Lee Guichan that she saw a possible male Lawrence's Goldfinch near Julius Kahn Playground on June 16, I believed I have found the male LAGO after a week's search. Additionally, I believed he was feeding a fledgling in shrubs along trail next to fenced off grass field.. The location is near (37.7920218, -122.4510186) - a spot along a trail that extends from Laurel St. (cross street is West Pacific ave.). He was initially spotted in a fenced field east of a ballfield on east side of Julius Kahn Playground. 

There is also a Jooeded Warbler family with recent fledgling. 


Take care, 
Lee Chang 
SF 





--
Mike Carozza
914-475-9355


Re: Baby Lawrence's Goldfinch

Bob Hall
 

I’m interested in hearing what they Lawerence’s are using for habitat. It it the same set of exotic plants that have been there for years? Is it the result of some restoration work? Can anyone Identify the type of plants that they’re using for cover and forage?

These kind of details can help with advocacy with city agencies.

Thanks,

Bob Hall

--
Bob Hall
San Francisco, CA
"There is no better high than discovery." - E.O. Wilson


Lawrence’s Goldfinches still present

David Assmann
 

Same location 


Re: Baby Lawrence's Goldfinch

Joe Morlan
 

On Thu, 25 Jun 2020 19:42:29 -0700, "Aaron Maizlish"
<amm.birdlists@...> wrote:

Are there any other breeding records of this bird in San Francisco in modern times?
There were four juveniles at Quail Commons in the Presidio July-August
2006.

https://flic.kr/s/aHsiDge2wN

As far as I know, no adults were seen there and I speculated that the
juveniles may have been displaced by a fire in Del Puerto Canyon that year.
--
Joseph Morlan, Pacifica, CA


Re: Mystery song

Eddie Monson
 

Hi all,
I do believe that this "mystery bird" is a western bird with a weird song. Still it would be great to know what species exactly. Sorry but a couple things I have not mentioned though is that in the area I was hearing it there was a family of 3-4 Bewick's Wrens. Within this family of Bewick's one bird was singing, (looking back now I realize I should have recorded that song too). This song was what I would consider a more typical Bewick's Wren song with many notes bouncing around in pitch and fairly buzzy. This song did not sound anything like the other song I heard. These wrens were also singing from low down in the brush and not super high up. Still, a wren could have easily moved and sung a different song. This would take us back to Alvaros guess of a Spotted Towhee possibly. Although I did not detect any other Spotted Towhees I was mostly focused on the "mystery bird" and therefore could have missed one completely. Whatever this bird is, I'm pretty sure I heard it singing in a large Eucalyptus grove and in some cypresses.
Just some other stuff to chew on.
Eddie


On Thu, Jun 25, 2020 at 10:56 AM Richard Bradus via groups.io <grizzledjay=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Hi Brian

You have brought up a most important point, that the actual details of this "sighting" (problematically in this case a "hearing") remain incomplete. Maddeningly so.

As for the analysis of sound recordings, sonograms and spectrographs, there has been significant work in this area over the years (most of which is in scientific journals - which I confess I have mostly not investigated) and they have proven to be very useful. Are they definitive? Well... this is science, after all. More research needed! The recent popularity of recordings and spectrographs I think is due to the acceptance and encouragement of such submissions on the eBird platform (with the Macauley library generating the spectrographs) and especially the wide use of smartphones and the many good recording apps available. By all means we should be encouraging such and submitting more recordings for analysis. If I had a more recent phone I would be doing more myself (the storage on my ancient phone is maxed already unfortunately).

Regarding the identification of the bird in question (and in general), it is important for all of us (myself especially) to keep in mind a tenet of diagnostic medicine: it is much more likely to encounter an uncommon manifestation of a common disease than the common manifestation of a very uncommon disease. A more prosaic way of putting this is "If you hear hoofbeats it is not likely to be a zebra". I think this applies very much to "birding" as well. As I observe more in the field (and, as you know, most "birders" are not really observing), the more surprising things I see and hear - like a White-crowned Sparrow pair nesting in a small tree in a Pacific Heights neighborhood fledging not only one of their own chicks but a Cowbird chick as well (something that I didn't think was possible). So, while it is a bit unlikely for a Bewick's to be singing the same short song variant up in a tree (something I have observed on at least one occasion in Marin county), it is still far more likely than a Blue-winged here. That's my two cents.

Thanks, as always, for sharing your experience and for your thoughtful contributions to the discussion.

Richard
(with apologies to the rest of the community if this is somewhat "off-topic")
On Wednesday, June 24, 2020, 09:44:30 PM PDT, Brian Fitch <fogeggs@...> wrote:


This is striking a deeper issue for me, so I'll try again.

If this is a Bewick's Wren, then it's not likely a migrant, and it could be out there trilling away in McLaren, if only we knew where to listen and look.  I would love to hear and see such an unusual event, as I have no experience in many years of birding with a Bewick's repeating the same odd song, well up in a tree, for such an extended period of time.  As I wrote earlier, Bewick's don't tend to do this. (Unfortunately, my italicizing of "likely" and "tend" will probably be lost on Sialia.)  Bewick's are famous for giving multiple variations on their theme within a short period, and usually sing from scrubby habitat even where trees are available.

My message this morning was meant as a nudge to a young birder to share more pertinent details about his find, but now he's been redirected to making spectrograms rather than making a complete report of a compelling find.

Are spectrograms an undeniable source for ID, or are they merely the aural equivalent of digital photos?  Digital shots have not lessened the human desire to toss opinions around, as witnessed by the amazing exchanges between a panel of experts on Peninsula Birds over the last few days, a discussion in which said experts have not yet agreed on the ID of a young warbler.  Conversely, many published photos are unequivocal in their ID usefulness, so perhaps spectrograms are similarly useful much of the time?

I have little experience with using sonagrams, as they were called in my childhood copy of the Golden Guide.  The 1966 edition has an introduction to bird song that focuses completely on sonagrams and their interpretation, as if it was the latest new thing in understanding song ID.  The book has sonagrams for all four of the species that have been proposed in this thread, but only a single graph for each species, as if there could be no variation.  In the intervening years, I've heard little if anything about them, which raises the question of why they fell out of favor if they are so useful.   And now they've back under the title of spectrogram.  Does this represent some new breakthroughs in sound technology, or is it just a returning trend of the moment, prompted by some new app?  eBird has recently been inundated with spectrograms and recordings, but that doesn't clarify the cause of the huge increase, whether it represents a fad or a real advancement in knowledge. 

I can see similarities between all three graphs that Frank sent, but none of the three are identical.  It would be informative to see a rendering of the wren that Mike describes, as that might supply some correlative facts rather than opinions.  Is it a fact that every variation of Bewick's song shows an identical frequency in the trill, and that every Blue-winged also always shows a tighter set of lines?  In other words, are the spectrograms truly diagnostic in this case?  Is there never variation in frequency to the point of overlap between species?

Most if not all of my on-line arguments of the past decade have been with individuals or panels of experts who were sitting at their screens trying to judge the actual experience of myself or others through technologically rendered derivations, through virtual experience.  Virtual versus actual, machine versus human.  I know that humans make perceptual errors, but humans make the machines, imbed their biases in them, and then too often compound their errors in the interpretation of the machine's output.  And yet here I am trying to compare Eddie's recording and spectrogram to other recordings on Xeno-Canto, so I'm also trying to judge the actual through the virtual, which leaves me more open to the possibility of being flat out wrong about my ID thoughts.  Yet there are simply too many odd circumstances involved in this case for me to let a spectrogram rule out other possibilities, unless spectrograms have risen to a new level of diagnostic capacity.

I'm very interested in hearing and seeing the bird that is giving this song, be it a wren, warbler, towhee, or junco.  I'm also willing to engage any tool that can help me refine my senses, but not ones that deny human perception or override it in a categorical manner.  Binoculars refine my eyesight in every case, but it's unclear to me whether spectrograms are comparable, or if they represent a less reliable tool.

Brian Fitch



On Wed, Jun 24, 2020 at 5:52 PM Daniel Scali <daniel.s.scali@...> wrote:
This should be better. Sialia doesn't show attachments. If it's still tiny, just look at someone else's post for the Spectogram.

From Denise Wight:

Hi Daniel,
 
I'm going with Bewick's Wren.  In the attached spectrogram, the second trill shows a note at the top, a slight jump, like a dotted "i" which a lot of trilling birds don't have. The tone sounds good for Bewick's Wren, too.  Spotted Towhees occasionally have strange two-parted songs, so I thought about that as a possibility, too. But I've heard soooo many Bewick's Wrens that have the most bizarre variations in songs. One at Mitchell Canyon had only two quick, same pitched buzzes for his song, and was found in the same location 2 years in a row!



Re: Mystery song

karul2@...
 

Good discussion here.  I recently got Nathan Pieplow’s Peterson Field Guide to Bird Sounds (West) (2017).  He makes the case for the ‘spectrograms’ in a big way (as does Kroodsma’s wonderful book).  In my personal experience, I have found them to be very useful sometimes, but no substitute for a good ear and lots of experience.  And it should be noted that sometimes the spectrograms obscure a difference that is easier to hear directly. Musicians know well the limitations of spectrograms.  But with Ebird spectrograms and easy access to handheld tech, this will no doubt be more widely used, especially with fine distinctions that are not easily heard by human ears.  We might note how casual birders are now regularly identifying types of red crossbills using this technology. 
Kumaran Arul

On Jun 25, 2020, at 4:23 PM, Brian Fitch <fogeggs@...> wrote:


This is fascinating on multiple fronts. 

Nico invokes Kroodsma last night, which led me to pull Kroodsma's book off the shelf to give it another look, and then Greg passes along some live Kroodsma, offering his verdict based on years of study.  I have to admit that a PhD in Bewick's Wren song leads me to repress my heretical impulses to some degree, but they're still there, leaning much more toward first hand experience rather than authoritative statements.

And I'm simply not hearing what Alvaro does, possibly because I did not grow up listening to Blue-wingeds.  I listen to Eddie's recording, then to any number of other recordings of Blue-winged, and they seem identical, or nearly so.  Checking Xeno-Canto for Bewick's exposes you to a huge number of recordings, and none within my too brief sampling approached Eddie's bird at all.  I'm not alone in this, as others are having the same experience. 

I can see the difference in the few graphs, but the differences seem visually minimal, which agrees somewhat with my being unable to hear the differences.  I've taught bird song ID on many field trips, and have found many rarities based only on first hearing them, so I hope that explains a little why I'm having some resistance to ignoring what I hear.  At least Kroodsma acknowledged that this is an aberrant song.  I still hope to hear the bird live, and lay the blame for this cognitive dissonance on the virtual renderings of the sounds, as I wrote last night.  Yet no one else has heard this individual again, and shouldn't an adult Bewick's stick to its territory and keep singing?

There is still the unanswered question of variation to the point of possible overlap between species, and whether sonograms can be diagnostic.  Do the norms, the statistical ranges, never bleed into one another, so that a slow Blue-winged trill could look graphically like a fast wren trill?  Sonagrams are abstractions from real experience, and seem to require serious expertise to interpret, which could explain why no other field guides have included them since 1966, and why ornithologists are able to make use of them.  But are they open to a variety of interpretations as are photographs, or are they more like fingerprints, offering a clear ID?

Brian Fitch

On Thu, Jun 25, 2020 at 3:10 PM Chris Okon <chrisokon@...> wrote:
This is a fun and easy video about using some spectrographs to ID birds: 

On Thu, Jun 25, 2020, 12:10 PM nagra.ivs <nagra.ivs@...> wrote:
All,

I sent the unidentified recordings to a friend, Don Kroodsma, a long time bird song researcher without revealing anything more than the recording was made in the SF area.  He researched Bewick's Wren song for his Ph.D.   Here is his reply, "Bewick's Wren.  The wrens in the bay area have about 20 songs apiece. Could’ve been an aberrant song. Sounded like it was repeated in a stereotype fashion, so not a young bird. I heard two phrases to the song, and both sounded like a typical Wren."

Greg Budney

On Wed, Jun 24, 2020 at 5:52 PM Daniel Scali <daniel.s.scali@...> wrote:
This should be better. Sialia doesn't show attachments. If it's still tiny, just look at someone else's post for the Spectogram.

From Denise Wight:

Hi Daniel,
 
I'm going with Bewick's Wren.  In the attached spectrogram, the second trill shows a note at the top, a slight jump, like a dotted "i" which a lot of trilling birds don't have. The tone sounds good for Bewick's Wren, too.  Spotted Towhees occasionally have strange two-parted songs, so I thought about that as a possibility, too. But I've heard soooo many Bewick's Wrens that have the most bizarre variations in songs. One at Mitchell Canyon had only two quick, same pitched buzzes for his song, and was found in the same location 2 years in a row!



--
Greg Budney
San Francisco


Re: Lawrence's Goldfinch family In Presidio

Mike Carozza
 

Wow! This seems like a situation where birders need to be extremely careful so as not to stress them since they’re spending time on the ground? 

I want to visit but would love to hear from an expert in that regard. 

MC

On Thu, Jun 25, 2020 at 7:27 PM Lee-Hong Chang via groups.io <lhchang825=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Aaron, sorry! I meant Hooded Oriole as described in my ebird checklist. Somehow Hooded Oriole transformed into Jooeded Warbler when using smartphone technology.

Two Lawrence's Goldfinch photos were also added to my ebird checklist - https://ebird.org/checklist/S70815669?view=photos

Thank you Mick for your awesome survey of this area to bring attention to us to bird this location that resulted in this unrepresented finding.

Good luck if you try to re-find the LAGO family. Patience is definitely needed as it took me only approximately a week. But they should be still around, since the youngster(s) is/are still young.

Lee



On Thursday, June 25, 2020, 1:46:02 PM PDT, Mick Griffin <londontile@...> wrote:


Have seen plenty of Lesser Goldfinches in that field and adjacent areas but no Lawrence…...will have to go back again..






Mick Griffin
LONDON TILE
415.302.1489





On Jun 25, 2020, at 12:55 PM, Aaron Maizlish <amm.birdlists@...> wrote:

Thanks Lee (and Lee!).  I’ll go look later this afternoon.

Did you mean Hooded Oriole family?   I’m not aware of any breeding efforts by Hooded Warblers in California this year.

Thanks,

Aaron Maizlish
SF

On Jun 25, 2020, at 12:53 PM, Lee-Hong Chang via groups.io <lhchang825@...> wrote:

Hi, 
Today (June 25), following a tip from Lee Guichan that she saw a possible male Lawrence's Goldfinch near Julius Kahn Playground on June 16, I believed I have found the male LAGO after a week's search. Additionally, I believed he was feeding a fledgling in shrubs along trail next to fenced off grass field.. The location is near (37.7920218, -122.4510186) - a spot along a trail that extends from Laurel St. (cross street is West Pacific ave.). He was initially spotted in a fenced field east of a ballfield on east side of Julius Kahn Playground. 

There is also a Jooeded Warbler family with recent fledgling. 


Take care, 
Lee Chang 
SF 





--
Mike Carozza
914-475-9355


Speaking of Rajan's copulating American Redstarts and Lee, Lee, and Aaron's post-copulating Lawrence's Goldfinches, Mt. Sutro is also going off!

Daniel Scali
 

Heyo,

Last Wed I was on top of ole Sutro and spotted a Band-tailed Pigeon seemingly nest building. I was in a hurry and foliage was too thick to confirm. Olive-sided Flycatcher and Spotted Towhee were singing as well.

I went back the next day to confirm, and discovered nada. The "nest" I thought I had seen had me wondering about one of those leaf catcher branch forks where leaves accumulate to trick us. It didn't help that Eddie Bartely told me Bandies require lots o' acorns in order to set up shop and Sutro is basically Euc Land.

So I go up again today to pick up a few California native plants for a bday gift and even though i have perishables from Costco in the trunk (most impt ones in coolers) the birding disease tugs me up Nike Rd to go check on the possible pidge once again. Initially I see the same decoy nest but I go (very slowly) a few steps in off the trail and in another dense patch a little bit up and over there's the purpley dove just hangin. I can't ID the tree it's in and I'm wondering if the tree is basically a zombie host for English ivy because that might be what I'm seeing everywhere.

The disease continued, and I, onward, to loop the summit, aka rotary meadow. Soon thereafter, I heard another possible warbler/junco -- turned out to be a NORTHERN PARULA singing on and off for the next hour. This is at least the 3rd Nopa spotted on the mountain since May 16. Whitney Grover has had both a singing male and silent female-type. Which brings me back to all the bacon makin' going on right now.

Side Note: Josaiah, I stood watch this morning for 30 minutes at Mclaren over a willow patch listening to a singing Swainson's Thrush -- it wasn't having it.

The singer Parula was chasing birds left and right and moving around the hillside that is Southwest facing (I think) from the summit. There was a lot of activity and I was definitely wondering if there were other parulas in the mix.

I hope some folks will get up there tomorrow. If you strike out on birds, the rotary meadow at the summit is a gorgeous testament to the ecological restoration work a lot of organizations are doing in SF these days. Once the pigeons hopefully succeed, I will be happy to disclose the nest location.

Good birding,
Dan 


Re: Baby Lawrence's Goldfinch

Sam _
 

Exciting! Last year when sorting through some historical observations I found this 1915 record of a nest "6 ft up in an alder bush near the water" by Dudley DeGroot from an unspecified location in the county: https://collections.wfvz.org/record-display.php?search_type=2&fAction=search&specimen_type=0&cat_num=94053

image.png


image.png

I asked Josiah about it and I believe he said that they also nested in the Presidio one year about a decade ago. I'm sure he or others would have more information on that--I mostly just wanted to share the old photos from WFVZ.

Wish I were still around to see them now!

Best,
Sam Safran
Minneapolis


On Thu, Jun 25, 2020 at 9:42 PM Aaron Maizlish <amm.birdlists@...> wrote:
Folks,

I got down to the Presidio around 5pm this evening.  With David Tomb, we were able to pretty quickly get on what appears to be a recently fledged Lawrence’s Goldfinch.  (Someone please correct me if I’m wrong!). Note the white in the tail, the yellow already coming in on the wing, the pale head and large bill - all of which I think safely separate this from the other finches.  We stayed with this bird for about ten minutes and then it flew off with another (possibly juvenile, possibly adult female.). This was at the coordinates that Lee Hong-Chang gave in the first post.  Over the next hour I was unable to get on any other LAGOs - though I heard the tinkle call a few times.  It was difficult with the high winds and the literally hundred plus House Finch, Lesser Goldfinch, juncos, song and WC sparrows, and Hooded Orioles flying around.  This area seems to be a breeding frenzy.   You should also check the trees in a little gully about 100 yards north of the spot (not accessible by any main trail) where I last heard the LAGO call.

Are there any other breeding records of this bird in San Francisco in modern times?

Aaron Maizlish
San Francisco








Baby Lawrence's Goldfinch

Aaron Maizlish
 

Folks,

I got down to the Presidio around 5pm this evening.  With David Tomb, we were able to pretty quickly get on what appears to be a recently fledged Lawrence’s Goldfinch.  (Someone please correct me if I’m wrong!). Note the white in the tail, the yellow already coming in on the wing, the pale head and large bill - all of which I think safely separate this from the other finches.  We stayed with this bird for about ten minutes and then it flew off with another (possibly juvenile, possibly adult female.). This was at the coordinates that Lee Hong-Chang gave in the first post.  Over the next hour I was unable to get on any other LAGOs - though I heard the tinkle call a few times.  It was difficult with the high winds and the literally hundred plus House Finch, Lesser Goldfinch, juncos, song and WC sparrows, and Hooded Orioles flying around.  This area seems to be a breeding frenzy.   You should also check the trees in a little gully about 100 yards north of the spot (not accessible by any main trail) where I last heard the LAGO call.

Are there any other breeding records of this bird in San Francisco in modern times?

Aaron Maizlish
San Francisco








Re: Mystery song

nagra.ivs
 

Nico (and anyone else who's an owner of The Singing Life of Birds),

If you own a copy of "The Singing Life of Birds", but find yourself without means to play the book's CD, which contains the actual recordings discussed in each chapter, if you write Kroodsma he will provide you with a link where you may download the high-resolution audio files.  There's no cost.  

For any of you that found "The Singing Life of Birds" a worthwhile read, including his recommendation to explore bird sounds through the use of Raven Lite sound analysis software (free), two other volumes by Kroodsma that are equally informative and inspiring are: "Birdsong by the Seasons - A Year of Listening to Birds" (with CDs) and "Listening to a Continent Sing" (381 recordings discussed in the book playable at a free website).   He's recently released a fourth book, "Birdsong for the Curious Naturalist - Your Guide to Listening" (with 75 hours of accompanying recordings at BirdsongForTheCurious.com).   For the record, I am not on the payroll. ;ˆ)

Lastly, something most of you know, though a species may essentially inhabit understory, when advertising many of these "understory" species routinely make use of a perch that affords a high and unobstructed pathway to broadcast their song effectively.  Thousands of years of evolutionary savvy behind this behavior...and the all important arbiter, female choice.  Pretty amazing stuff eh?

Best,
Greg Budney

On Wed, Jun 24, 2020 at 10:16 PM Nico Stuurman <nico@...> wrote:
Not to distract from the bird in question (and I think we all deserve a conclusion to this thread with a visual ID;), but it is my understanding that sonograms have been in wide use in bird sound research, which involves extensive field work.  I loved reading Donald Kroodsma's "The singing life of Birds", and can recommend it to anyone interested in bird song.  Only downside is that I don't have a way to play the included CD;).

Best,

Nico

On 6/24/2020 9:44 PM, Brian Fitch wrote:
This is striking a deeper issue for me, so I'll try again.

If this is a Bewick's Wren, then it's not likely a migrant, and it could be out there trilling away in McLaren, if only we knew where to listen and look.  I would love to hear and see such an unusual event, as I have no experience in many years of birding with a Bewick's repeating the same odd song, well up in a tree, for such an extended period of time.  As I wrote earlier, Bewick's don't tend to do this. (Unfortunately, my italicizing of "likely" and "tend" will probably be lost on Sialia.)  Bewick's are famous for giving multiple variations on their theme within a short period, and usually sing from scrubby habitat even where trees are available.

My message this morning was meant as a nudge to a young birder to share more pertinent details about his find, but now he's been redirected to making spectrograms rather than making a complete report of a compelling find.

Are spectrograms an undeniable source for ID, or are they merely the aural equivalent of digital photos?  Digital shots have not lessened the human desire to toss opinions around, as witnessed by the amazing exchanges between a panel of experts on Peninsula Birds over the last few days, a discussion in which said experts have not yet agreed on the ID of a young warbler.  Conversely, many published photos are unequivocal in their ID usefulness, so perhaps spectrograms are similarly useful much of the time?

I have little experience with using sonagrams, as they were called in my childhood copy of the Golden Guide.  The 1966 edition has an introduction to bird song that focuses completely on sonagrams and their interpretation, as if it was the latest new thing in understanding song ID.  The book has sonagrams for all four of the species that have been proposed in this thread, but only a single graph for each species, as if there could be no variation.  In the intervening years, I've heard little if anything about them, which raises the question of why they fell out of favor if they are so useful.   And now they've back under the title of spectrogram.  Does this represent some new breakthroughs in sound technology, or is it just a returning trend of the moment, prompted by some new app?  eBird has recently been inundated with spectrograms and recordings, but that doesn't clarify the cause of the huge increase, whether it represents a fad or a real advancement in knowledge. 

I can see similarities between all three graphs that Frank sent, but none of the three are identical.  It would be informative to see a rendering of the wren that Mike describes, as that might supply some correlative facts rather than opinions.  Is it a fact that every variation of Bewick's song shows an identical frequency in the trill, and that every Blue-winged also always shows a tighter set of lines?  In other words, are the spectrograms truly diagnostic in this case?  Is there never variation in frequency to the point of overlap between species?

Most if not all of my on-line arguments of the past decade have been with individuals or panels of experts who were sitting at their screens trying to judge the actual experience of myself or others through technologically rendered derivations, through virtual experience.  Virtual versus actual, machine versus human.  I know that humans make perceptual errors, but humans make the machines, imbed their biases in them, and then too often compound their errors in the interpretation of the machine's output.  And yet here I am trying to compare Eddie's recording and spectrogram to other recordings on Xeno-Canto, so I'm also trying to judge the actual through the virtual, which leaves me more open to the possibility of being flat out wrong about my ID thoughts.  Yet there are simply too many odd circumstances involved in this case for me to let a spectrogram rule out other possibilities, unless spectrograms have risen to a new level of diagnostic capacity.

I'm very interested in hearing and seeing the bird that is giving this song, be it a wren, warbler, towhee, or junco.  I'm also willing to engage any tool that can help me refine my senses, but not ones that deny human perception or override it in a categorical manner.  Binoculars refine my eyesight in every case, but it's unclear to me whether spectrograms are comparable, or if they represent a less reliable tool.

Brian Fitch



On Wed, Jun 24, 2020 at 5:52 PM Daniel Scali <daniel.s.scali@...> wrote:
This should be better. Sialia doesn't show attachments. If it's still tiny, just look at someone else's post for the Spectogram.

From Denise Wight:

Hi Daniel,
 
I'm going with Bewick's Wren.  In the attached spectrogram, the second trill shows a note at the top, a slight jump, like a dotted "i" which a lot of trilling birds don't have. The tone sounds good for Bewick's Wren, too.  Spotted Towhees occasionally have strange two-parted songs, so I thought about that as a possibility, too. But I've heard soooo many Bewick's Wrens that have the most bizarre variations in songs. One at Mitchell Canyon had only two quick, same pitched buzzes for his song, and was found in the same location 2 years in a row!




--
Greg Budney
San Francisco


Re: Lawrence's Goldfinch family In Presidio

Lee-Hong Chang
 

Aaron, sorry! I meant Hooded Oriole as described in my ebird checklist. Somehow Hooded Oriole transformed into Jooeded Warbler when using smartphone technology.

Two Lawrence's Goldfinch photos were also added to my ebird checklist - https://ebird.org/checklist/S70815669?view=photos

Thank you Mick for your awesome survey of this area to bring attention to us to bird this location that resulted in this unrepresented finding.

Good luck if you try to re-find the LAGO family. Patience is definitely needed as it took me only approximately a week. But they should be still around, since the youngster(s) is/are still young.

Lee



On Thursday, June 25, 2020, 1:46:02 PM PDT, Mick Griffin <londontile@...> wrote:


Have seen plenty of Lesser Goldfinches in that field and adjacent areas but no Lawrence…...will have to go back again..






Mick Griffin
LONDON TILE
415.302.1489





On Jun 25, 2020, at 12:55 PM, Aaron Maizlish <amm.birdlists@...> wrote:

Thanks Lee (and Lee!).  I’ll go look later this afternoon.

Did you mean Hooded Oriole family?   I’m not aware of any breeding efforts by Hooded Warblers in California this year.

Thanks,

Aaron Maizlish
SF

On Jun 25, 2020, at 12:53 PM, Lee-Hong Chang via groups.io <lhchang825@...> wrote:

Hi, 
Today (June 25), following a tip from Lee Guichan that she saw a possible male Lawrence's Goldfinch near Julius Kahn Playground on June 16, I believed I have found the male LAGO after a week's search. Additionally, I believed he was feeding a fledgling in shrubs along trail next to fenced off grass field.. The location is near (37.7920218, -122.4510186) - a spot along a trail that extends from Laurel St. (cross street is West Pacific ave.). He was initially spotted in a fenced field east of a ballfield on east side of Julius Kahn Playground. 

There is also a Jooeded Warbler family with recent fledgling. 


Take care, 
Lee Chang 
SF 






Re: Mystery song

rich815@...
 

Wow, all this because someone heard a Bewick's Wren sing over 10’ from the ground....  :-)

Actually it’s really interesting.  

On Thu, Jun 25, 2020 at 4:23 PM Brian Fitch <fogeggs@...> wrote:
This is fascinating on multiple fronts. 

Nico invokes Kroodsma last night, which led me to pull Kroodsma's book off the shelf to give it another look, and then Greg passes along some live Kroodsma, offering his verdict based on years of study.  I have to admit that a PhD in Bewick's Wren song leads me to repress my heretical impulses to some degree, but they're still there, leaning much more toward first hand experience rather than authoritative statements.

And I'm simply not hearing what Alvaro does, possibly because I did not grow up listening to Blue-wingeds.  I listen to Eddie's recording, then to any number of other recordings of Blue-winged, and they seem identical, or nearly so.  Checking Xeno-Canto for Bewick's exposes you to a huge number of recordings, and none within my too brief sampling approached Eddie's bird at all.  I'm not alone in this, as others are having the same experience. 

I can see the difference in the few graphs, but the differences seem visually minimal, which agrees somewhat with my being unable to hear the differences.  I've taught bird song ID on many field trips, and have found many rarities based only on first hearing them, so I hope that explains a little why I'm having some resistance to ignoring what I hear.  At least Kroodsma acknowledged that this is an aberrant song.  I still hope to hear the bird live, and lay the blame for this cognitive dissonance on the virtual renderings of the sounds, as I wrote last night.  Yet no one else has heard this individual again, and shouldn't an adult Bewick's stick to its territory and keep singing?

There is still the unanswered question of variation to the point of possible overlap between species, and whether sonograms can be diagnostic.  Do the norms, the statistical ranges, never bleed into one another, so that a slow Blue-winged trill could look graphically like a fast wren trill?  Sonagrams are abstractions from real experience, and seem to require serious expertise to interpret, which could explain why no other field guides have included them since 1966, and why ornithologists are able to make use of them.  But are they open to a variety of interpretations as are photographs, or are they more like fingerprints, offering a clear ID?

Brian Fitch

On Thu, Jun 25, 2020 at 3:10 PM Chris Okon <chrisokon@...> wrote:
This is a fun and easy video about using some spectrographs to ID birds: 

On Thu, Jun 25, 2020, 12:10 PM nagra.ivs <nagra.ivs@...> wrote:
All,

I sent the unidentified recordings to a friend, Don Kroodsma, a long time bird song researcher without revealing anything more than the recording was made in the SF area.  He researched Bewick's Wren song for his Ph.D.   Here is his reply, "Bewick's Wren.  The wrens in the bay area have about 20 songs apiece. Could’ve been an aberrant song. Sounded like it was repeated in a stereotype fashion, so not a young bird. I heard two phrases to the song, and both sounded like a typical Wren."

Greg Budney

On Wed, Jun 24, 2020 at 5:52 PM Daniel Scali <daniel.s.scali@...> wrote:
This should be better. Sialia doesn't show attachments. If it's still tiny, just look at someone else's post for the Spectogram.

From Denise Wight:

Hi Daniel,
 
I'm going with Bewick's Wren.  In the attached spectrogram, the second trill shows a note at the top, a slight jump, like a dotted "i" which a lot of trilling birds don't have. The tone sounds good for Bewick's Wren, too.  Spotted Towhees occasionally have strange two-parted songs, so I thought about that as a possibility, too. But I've heard soooo many Bewick's Wrens that have the most bizarre variations in songs. One at Mitchell Canyon had only two quick, same pitched buzzes for his song, and was found in the same location 2 years in a row!



--
Greg Budney
San Francisco


Re: Mystery song

Brian Fitch
 

This is fascinating on multiple fronts. 

Nico invokes Kroodsma last night, which led me to pull Kroodsma's book off the shelf to give it another look, and then Greg passes along some live Kroodsma, offering his verdict based on years of study.  I have to admit that a PhD in Bewick's Wren song leads me to repress my heretical impulses to some degree, but they're still there, leaning much more toward first hand experience rather than authoritative statements.

And I'm simply not hearing what Alvaro does, possibly because I did not grow up listening to Blue-wingeds.  I listen to Eddie's recording, then to any number of other recordings of Blue-winged, and they seem identical, or nearly so.  Checking Xeno-Canto for Bewick's exposes you to a huge number of recordings, and none within my too brief sampling approached Eddie's bird at all.  I'm not alone in this, as others are having the same experience. 

I can see the difference in the few graphs, but the differences seem visually minimal, which agrees somewhat with my being unable to hear the differences.  I've taught bird song ID on many field trips, and have found many rarities based only on first hearing them, so I hope that explains a little why I'm having some resistance to ignoring what I hear.  At least Kroodsma acknowledged that this is an aberrant song.  I still hope to hear the bird live, and lay the blame for this cognitive dissonance on the virtual renderings of the sounds, as I wrote last night.  Yet no one else has heard this individual again, and shouldn't an adult Bewick's stick to its territory and keep singing?

There is still the unanswered question of variation to the point of possible overlap between species, and whether sonograms can be diagnostic.  Do the norms, the statistical ranges, never bleed into one another, so that a slow Blue-winged trill could look graphically like a fast wren trill?  Sonagrams are abstractions from real experience, and seem to require serious expertise to interpret, which could explain why no other field guides have included them since 1966, and why ornithologists are able to make use of them.  But are they open to a variety of interpretations as are photographs, or are they more like fingerprints, offering a clear ID?

Brian Fitch


On Thu, Jun 25, 2020 at 3:10 PM Chris Okon <chrisokon@...> wrote:
This is a fun and easy video about using some spectrographs to ID birds: 

On Thu, Jun 25, 2020, 12:10 PM nagra.ivs <nagra.ivs@...> wrote:
All,

I sent the unidentified recordings to a friend, Don Kroodsma, a long time bird song researcher without revealing anything more than the recording was made in the SF area.  He researched Bewick's Wren song for his Ph.D.   Here is his reply, "Bewick's Wren.  The wrens in the bay area have about 20 songs apiece. Could’ve been an aberrant song. Sounded like it was repeated in a stereotype fashion, so not a young bird. I heard two phrases to the song, and both sounded like a typical Wren."

Greg Budney

On Wed, Jun 24, 2020 at 5:52 PM Daniel Scali <daniel.s.scali@...> wrote:
This should be better. Sialia doesn't show attachments. If it's still tiny, just look at someone else's post for the Spectogram.

From Denise Wight:

Hi Daniel,
 
I'm going with Bewick's Wren.  In the attached spectrogram, the second trill shows a note at the top, a slight jump, like a dotted "i" which a lot of trilling birds don't have. The tone sounds good for Bewick's Wren, too.  Spotted Towhees occasionally have strange two-parted songs, so I thought about that as a possibility, too. But I've heard soooo many Bewick's Wrens that have the most bizarre variations in songs. One at Mitchell Canyon had only two quick, same pitched buzzes for his song, and was found in the same location 2 years in a row!



--
Greg Budney
San Francisco


Re: Parakeet auklet on shipwreck rock now . . .

Joel Perlstein
 

 I saw the parakeet auklet from the shipwreck lookout today. Sometime between around 11:30 to 12:30. Initially observed in the surf to the west of hermit rock. Visible there about 10 minutes. Observed more briefly twice more, each time a bit further from shore.
--
Joel Perlstein 
San Francisco


Re: Mystery song

Chris Okon
 

This is a fun and easy video about using some spectrographs to ID birds: 


On Thu, Jun 25, 2020, 12:10 PM nagra.ivs <nagra.ivs@...> wrote:
All,

I sent the unidentified recordings to a friend, Don Kroodsma, a long time bird song researcher without revealing anything more than the recording was made in the SF area.  He researched Bewick's Wren song for his Ph.D.   Here is his reply, "Bewick's Wren.  The wrens in the bay area have about 20 songs apiece. Could’ve been an aberrant song. Sounded like it was repeated in a stereotype fashion, so not a young bird. I heard two phrases to the song, and both sounded like a typical Wren."

Greg Budney

On Wed, Jun 24, 2020 at 5:52 PM Daniel Scali <daniel.s.scali@...> wrote:
This should be better. Sialia doesn't show attachments. If it's still tiny, just look at someone else's post for the Spectogram.

From Denise Wight:

Hi Daniel,
 
I'm going with Bewick's Wren.  In the attached spectrogram, the second trill shows a note at the top, a slight jump, like a dotted "i" which a lot of trilling birds don't have. The tone sounds good for Bewick's Wren, too.  Spotted Towhees occasionally have strange two-parted songs, so I thought about that as a possibility, too. But I've heard soooo many Bewick's Wrens that have the most bizarre variations in songs. One at Mitchell Canyon had only two quick, same pitched buzzes for his song, and was found in the same location 2 years in a row!



--
Greg Budney
San Francisco


Re: Lawrence's Goldfinch family In Presidio

Aaron Maizlish
 

Thanks Lee (and Lee!).  I’ll go look later this afternoon.

Did you mean Hooded Oriole family?   I’m not aware of any breeding efforts by Hooded Warblers in California this year.

Thanks,

Aaron Maizlish
SF

On Jun 25, 2020, at 12:53 PM, Lee-Hong Chang via groups.io <lhchang825@...> wrote:

Hi, 
Today (June 25), following a tip from Lee Guichan that she saw a possible male Lawrence's Goldfinch near Julius Kahn Playground on June 16, I believed I have found the male LAGO after a week's search. Additionally, I believed he was feeding a fledgling in shrubs along trail next to fenced off grass field.. The location is near (37.7920218, -122.4510186) - a spot along a trail that extends from Laurel St. (cross street is West Pacific ave.). He was initially spotted in a fenced field east of a ballfield on east side of Julius Kahn Playground. 

There is also a Jooeded Warbler family with recent fledgling. 


Take care, 
Lee Chang 
SF 





Lawrence's Goldfinch family In Presidio

Lee-Hong Chang
 

Hi, 
Today (June 25), following a tip from Lee Guichan that she saw a possible male Lawrence's Goldfinch near Julius Kahn Playground on June 16, I believed I have found the male LAGO after a week's search. Additionally, I believed he was feeding a fledgling in shrubs along trail next to fenced off grass field.. The location is near (37.7920218, -122.4510186) - a spot along a trail that extends from Laurel St. (cross street is West Pacific ave.). He was initially spotted in a fenced field east of a ballfield on east side of Julius Kahn Playground. 

There is also a Jooeded Warbler family with recent fledgling. 


Take care, 
Lee Chang 
SF 




Re: Mystery song

nagra.ivs
 

All,

I sent the unidentified recordings to a friend, Don Kroodsma, a long time bird song researcher without revealing anything more than the recording was made in the SF area.  He researched Bewick's Wren song for his Ph.D.   Here is his reply, "Bewick's Wren.  The wrens in the bay area have about 20 songs apiece. Could’ve been an aberrant song. Sounded like it was repeated in a stereotype fashion, so not a young bird. I heard two phrases to the song, and both sounded like a typical Wren."

Greg Budney

On Wed, Jun 24, 2020 at 5:52 PM Daniel Scali <daniel.s.scali@...> wrote:
This should be better. Sialia doesn't show attachments. If it's still tiny, just look at someone else's post for the Spectogram.

From Denise Wight:

Hi Daniel,
 
I'm going with Bewick's Wren.  In the attached spectrogram, the second trill shows a note at the top, a slight jump, like a dotted "i" which a lot of trilling birds don't have. The tone sounds good for Bewick's Wren, too.  Spotted Towhees occasionally have strange two-parted songs, so I thought about that as a possibility, too. But I've heard soooo many Bewick's Wrens that have the most bizarre variations in songs. One at Mitchell Canyon had only two quick, same pitched buzzes for his song, and was found in the same location 2 years in a row!



--
Greg Budney
San Francisco


Re: Mystery song

Alvaro Jaramillo
 

All

   I thought I would write a bit about sound analysis, for those interested in that aspect of the conversation.

   Having grown up listening to Eastern warblers, that bird just did not sound like a Blue-winged Warbler. So the way I would use a sonogram (usually called a spectrogram now, but lets just use the term birders know instead) is to visually see what my ears are telling me. It does not sound like a Blue-winged, but why? Make a picture and then you see why, frequency ranges, average frequency and structure of trills. That is the way I was going about using the sonogram in this case. 1) sounds weird 2) why? 3) make picture 4) answer the why.

   But you can also use sonograms in a different way, and it is more analytical. You can take multiple recordings of Blue-winged and then make sonograms and take measurements from the sonograms. You could use let’s say 20 or a 100 or more, then you will have an actual distribution of what is the norm in a Blue-winged Warbler vocalization. You can then take an unknown recording, make similar measurements and statistically show if it is within that population or not. Basically, is it or isn’t it a Blue-winged warbler? No one has done this, and my guess is that there is no need to, and it is substantial amount of work. So here you could do this: 1) Take measurements from a sample of a vocalization 2) Describe the structure of the vocalization from these measurements 3) Compare an unknown vocalization to these data 4) statistically decide if it is the same thing or something different.

    I am currently working on a study to divide a species of North American bird into two species based on measurements I am taking from vocalizations of this species. You can take these measurements and they are highly repeatable. You can hear the differences too, there is no magic that fools you. It just puts down what you are hearing into a mode where you can see the differences and measure the differences. It is basically a plot, a graph of the sound.

 

   Alvaro

 

Alvaro Jaramillo

alvaro@...

www.alvarosadventures.com

 

From: SFBirds@groups.io <SFBirds@groups.io> On Behalf Of Richard Bradus via groups.io
Sent: Thursday, June 25, 2020 10:56 AM
To: Brian Fitch <fogeggs@...>
Cc: SFBirds <sfbirds@groups.io>
Subject: Re: [SFBirds] Mystery song

 

Hi Brian

You have brought up a most important point, that the actual details of this "sighting" (problematically in this case a "hearing") remain incomplete. Maddeningly so.

As for the analysis of sound recordings, sonograms and spectrographs, there has been significant work in this area over the years (most of which is in scientific journals - which I confess I have mostly not investigated) and they have proven to be very useful. Are they definitive? Well... this is science, after all. More research needed! The recent popularity of recordings and spectrographs I think is due to the acceptance and encouragement of such submissions on the eBird platform (with the Macauley library generating the spectrographs) and especially the wide use of smartphones and the many good recording apps available. By all means we should be encouraging such and submitting more recordings for analysis. If I had a more recent phone I would be doing more myself (the storage on my ancient phone is maxed already unfortunately).

Regarding the identification of the bird in question (and in general), it is important for all of us (myself especially) to keep in mind a tenet of diagnostic medicine: it is much more likely to encounter an uncommon manifestation of a common disease than the common manifestation of a very uncommon disease. A more prosaic way of putting this is "If you hear hoofbeats it is not likely to be a zebra". I think this applies very much to "birding" as well. As I observe more in the field (and, as you know, most "birders" are not really observing), the more surprising things I see and hear - like a White-crowned Sparrow pair nesting in a small tree in a Pacific Heights neighborhood fledging not only one of their own chicks but a Cowbird chick as well (something that I didn't think was possible). So, while it is a bit unlikely for a Bewick's to be singing the same short song variant up in a tree (something I have observed on at least one occasion in Marin county), it is still far more likely than a Blue-winged here. That's my two cents.

Thanks, as always, for sharing your experience and for your thoughtful contributions to the discussion.

Richard
(with apologies to the rest of the community if this is somewhat "off-topic")

On Wednesday, June 24, 2020, 09:44:30 PM PDT, Brian Fitch <fogeggs@...> wrote:

 

 

This is striking a deeper issue for me, so I'll try again.

 

If this is a Bewick's Wren, then it's not likely a migrant, and it could be out there trilling away in McLaren, if only we knew where to listen and look.  I would love to hear and see such an unusual event, as I have no experience in many years of birding with a Bewick's repeating the same odd song, well up in a tree, for such an extended period of time.  As I wrote earlier, Bewick's don't tend to do this. (Unfortunately, my italicizing of "likely" and "tend" will probably be lost on Sialia.)  Bewick's are famous for giving multiple variations on their theme within a short period, and usually sing from scrubby habitat even where trees are available.

 

My message this morning was meant as a nudge to a young birder to share more pertinent details about his find, but now he's been redirected to making spectrograms rather than making a complete report of a compelling find.

 

Are spectrograms an undeniable source for ID, or are they merely the aural equivalent of digital photos?  Digital shots have not lessened the human desire to toss opinions around, as witnessed by the amazing exchanges between a panel of experts on Peninsula Birds over the last few days, a discussion in which said experts have not yet agreed on the ID of a young warbler.  Conversely, many published photos are unequivocal in their ID usefulness, so perhaps spectrograms are similarly useful much of the time?

 

I have little experience with using sonagrams, as they were called in my childhood copy of the Golden Guide.  The 1966 edition has an introduction to bird song that focuses completely on sonagrams and their interpretation, as if it was the latest new thing in understanding song ID.  The book has sonagrams for all four of the species that have been proposed in this thread, but only a single graph for each species, as if there could be no variation.  In the intervening years, I've heard little if anything about them, which raises the question of why they fell out of favor if they are so useful.   And now they've back under the title of spectrogram.  Does this represent some new breakthroughs in sound technology, or is it just a returning trend of the moment, prompted by some new app?  eBird has recently been inundated with spectrograms and recordings, but that doesn't clarify the cause of the huge increase, whether it represents a fad or a real advancement in knowledge. 

 

I can see similarities between all three graphs that Frank sent, but none of the three are identical.  It would be informative to see a rendering of the wren that Mike describes, as that might supply some correlative facts rather than opinions.  Is it a fact that every variation of Bewick's song shows an identical frequency in the trill, and that every Blue-winged also always shows a tighter set of lines?  In other words, are the spectrograms truly diagnostic in this case?  Is there never variation in frequency to the point of overlap between species?

 

Most if not all of my on-line arguments of the past decade have been with individuals or panels of experts who were sitting at their screens trying to judge the actual experience of myself or others through technologically rendered derivations, through virtual experience.  Virtual versus actual, machine versus human.  I know that humans make perceptual errors, but humans make the machines, imbed their biases in them, and then too often compound their errors in the interpretation of the machine's output.  And yet here I am trying to compare Eddie's recording and spectrogram to other recordings on Xeno-Canto, so I'm also trying to judge the actual through the virtual, which leaves me more open to the possibility of being flat out wrong about my ID thoughts.  Yet there are simply too many odd circumstances involved in this case for me to let a spectrogram rule out other possibilities, unless spectrograms have risen to a new level of diagnostic capacity.

 

I'm very interested in hearing and seeing the bird that is giving this song, be it a wren, warbler, towhee, or junco.  I'm also willing to engage any tool that can help me refine my senses, but not ones that deny human perception or override it in a categorical manner.  Binoculars refine my eyesight in every case, but it's unclear to me whether spectrograms are comparable, or if they represent a less reliable tool.

 

Brian Fitch

 

 

 

On Wed, Jun 24, 2020 at 5:52 PM Daniel Scali <daniel.s.scali@...> wrote:

This should be better. Sialia doesn't show attachments. If it's still tiny, just look at someone else's post for the Spectogram.

From Denise Wight:

Hi Daniel,

 

I'm going with Bewick's Wren.  In the attached spectrogram, the second trill shows a note at the top, a slight jump, like a dotted "i" which a lot of trilling birds don't have. The tone sounds good for Bewick's Wren, too.  Spotted Towhees occasionally have strange two-parted songs, so I thought about that as a possibility, too. But I've heard soooo many Bewick's Wrens that have the most bizarre variations in songs. One at Mitchell Canyon had only two quick, same pitched buzzes for his song, and was found in the same location 2 years in a row!