Topics

Saw-whet Owl?


phil Pryde
 

This morning (Tues.), while looking for the mythological Red Crossbill (aka the toilet paper bird), I heard at a distance an incessant call that seemed to meet the requirements for a Saw-whet Owl.  The loud sharp notes, a whistled sup, sup, sup . . . , were about a second apart, and went on and on and on . . .   

The Bird Atlas notes that it calls “rarely even at midday”.  I’d estimate it was about 9:30 a.m. when I heard it while at the toilet paper site. That would be near the southernmost portion of its regular range.  
 
Just wondering, if any one else who was up there looking for easily spotted wildlife (such as Bigfoot, Jimmy Hoffa, and purported Crossbills) also heard anything they suspected of being a Saw-whet Owl? 


phil Pryde
 

     Sorry about the ambiguity in my email of last evening - I was mainly reaching out to those who had already gone to “the spot” to look for the Crossbills, which is about 1 1/2 miles down the Agua Dulce trail, as described in Gary Nunn’s email of Sept. 2, and other earlier reports.  
     For those who haven’t tried to see the Crossbills, the joke was that some considerate person had tied a string of (yes, unused) toilet paper to a fallen branch to mark the spot where the Crossibills had been most reliably seen (except yesterday).  I didn’t see a Bigfoot, either.  
    Phil 


On Sep 3, 2019, at 10:19 PM, KRIS MCMILLAN <krismcmillan@...> wrote:

You’re a million steps ahead of me, but, I’m wondering WHERE were you when you heard all these magical mysterious sounds?


On Sep 3, 2019, at 10:16 PM, phil Pryde <PhilPinSD@...> wrote:

This morning (Tues.), while looking for the mythological Red Crossbill (aka the toilet paper bird), I heard at a distance an incessant call that seemed to meet the requirements for a Saw-whet Owl.  The loud sharp notes, a whistled sup, sup, sup . . . , were about a second apart, and went on and on and on . . .   

The Bird Atlas notes that it calls “rarely even at midday”.  I’d estimate it was about 9:30 a.m. when I heard it while at the toilet paper site. That would be near the southernmost portion of its regular range.  
 
Just wondering, if any one else who was up there looking for easily spotted wildlife (such as Bigfoot, Jimmy Hoffa, and purported Crossbills) also heard anything they suspected of being a Saw-whet Owl? 




Geoffrey L. Rogers
 

Phil and all,

 

Not ruling saw-whet owl out but Birds of North America Online says calling speed is “about 2 per second.” I can vouch that an agitated saw-whet will briefly produce notes even faster. I think a speed nearing a second apart would be more in the Merriam’s Chipmunk range.

 

Geoffrey Rogers

San Diego, CA

 

From: SanDiegoRegionBirding@groups.io [mailto:SanDiegoRegionBirding@groups.io] On Behalf Of phil Pryde
Sent: Tuesday, September 3, 2019 10:17 PM
To: sandiegoregionbirding@groups.io
Subject: [SanDiegoRegionBirding] Saw-whet Owl?

 

This morning (Tues.), while looking for the mythological Red Crossbill (aka the toilet paper bird), I heard at a distance an incessant call that seemed to meet the requirements for a Saw-whet Owl.  The loud sharp notes, a whistled sup, sup, sup . . . , were about a second apart, and went on and on and on . . .   

 

The Bird Atlas notes that it calls “rarely even at midday”.  I’d estimate it was about 9:30 a.m. when I heard it while at the toilet paper site. That would be near the southernmost portion of its regular range.  

 

Just wondering, if any one else who was up there looking for easily spotted wildlife (such as Bigfoot, Jimmy Hoffa, and purported Crossbills) also heard anything they suspected of being a Saw-whet Owl? 

 


phil Pryde
 

Hi Geoff, 
       My “one second” interval was entirely a spur of the moment estimate - the calls were very quickly repeated and could easily have been less than a second.  But I won’t rule out chipmunk, either, except to say that the call seemed to be coming from a fair distance away, and if it was a chipmunk he would have needed a good set of lungs.  Do you have a recording of whatever sp. of chipmunk would have been up there? 
      Best, Phil 


On Sep 4, 2019, at 9:27 AM, Geoff Rogers <rogersgl1952@...> wrote:

Phil and all,
 
Not ruling saw-whet owl out but Birds of North America Online says calling speed is “about 2 per second.” I can vouch that an agitated saw-whet will briefly produce notes even faster. I think a speed nearing a second apart would be more in the Merriam’s Chipmunk range. 
 
Geoffrey Rogers
San Diego, CA
 
From: SanDiegoRegionBirding@groups.io [mailto:SanDiegoRegionBirding@groups.io] On Behalf Of phil Pryde
Sent: Tuesday, September 3, 2019 10:17 PM
To: sandiegoregionbirding@groups.io
Subject: [SanDiegoRegionBirding] Saw-whet Owl?
 
This morning (Tues.), while looking for the mythological Red Crossbill (aka the toilet paper bird), I heard at a distance an incessant call that seemed to meet the requirements for a Saw-whet Owl.  The loud sharp notes, a whistled sup, sup, sup . . . , were about a second apart, and went on and on and on . . .   
 
The Bird Atlas notes that it calls “rarely even at midday”.  I’d estimate it was about 9:30 a.m. when I heard it while at the toilet paper site. That would be near the southernmost portion of its regular range.  
 
Just wondering, if any one else who was up there looking for easily spotted wildlife (such as Bigfoot, Jimmy Hoffa, and purported Crossbills) also heard anything they suspected of being a Saw-whet Owl? 
 



Geoffrey L. Rogers
 

Hi Phil,

A recording of Merriam's is at   http://earbirding.com/blog/archives/454  It is the most likely species here. The speed does pick up at the end but the quality is not as penetrating and a bit lower-pitched than a saw-whet. I agree it would not carry as well as a saw-whet's call. 

At https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0003347276800401 there is a paper in the journal Animal Behavior on chipmunk calls but it requires $35 more than I care to spend. 

Geoff


On Wed, Sep 4, 2019 at 9:39 AM phil Pryde <philpinsd@...> wrote:
Hi Geoff, 
       My “one second” interval was entirely a spur of the moment estimate - the calls were very quickly repeated and could easily have been less than a second.  But I won’t rule out chipmunk, either, except to say that the call seemed to be coming from a fair distance away, and if it was a chipmunk he would have needed a good set of lungs.  Do you have a recording of whatever sp. of chipmunk would have been up there? 
      Best, Phil 


On Sep 4, 2019, at 9:27 AM, Geoff Rogers <rogersgl1952@...> wrote:

Phil and all,
 
Not ruling saw-whet owl out but Birds of North America Online says calling speed is “about 2 per second.” I can vouch that an agitated saw-whet will briefly produce notes even faster. I think a speed nearing a second apart would be more in the Merriam’s Chipmunk range. 
 
Geoffrey Rogers
San Diego, CA
 
From: SanDiegoRegionBirding@groups.io [mailto:SanDiegoRegionBirding@groups.io] On Behalf Of phil Pryde
Sent: Tuesday, September 3, 2019 10:17 PM
To: sandiegoregionbirding@groups.io
Subject: [SanDiegoRegionBirding] Saw-whet Owl?
 
This morning (Tues.), while looking for the mythological Red Crossbill (aka the toilet paper bird), I heard at a distance an incessant call that seemed to meet the requirements for a Saw-whet Owl.  The loud sharp notes, a whistled sup, sup, sup . . . , were about a second apart, and went on and on and on . . .   
 
The Bird Atlas notes that it calls “rarely even at midday”.  I’d estimate it was about 9:30 a.m. when I heard it while at the toilet paper site. That would be near the southernmost portion of its regular range.  
 
Just wondering, if any one else who was up there looking for easily spotted wildlife (such as Bigfoot, Jimmy Hoffa, and purported Crossbills) also heard anything they suspected of being a Saw-whet Owl? 
 



phil Pryde
 

Hi Geoff, Nathan, Bruce, Dan, Gary, and everyone, 
       Thanks for all of your interesting input.  Collectively all the input tells me there’s a simple answer to my original question, which was, “Did anyone else hear, or thought they heard, a Saw-whet Owl near the Crossbill site?” 
       The simple one-word answer seems to be, “no”. 
       So I’m happy to leave it at that, namely:   maybe  I heard a SWOW along the lower Agua Dulce trail. Or maybe not.  Or maybe someone will get a chance to tape the mystery call.  Or maybe the critter will send me a selfie. 
       At least I saw my FOS butter-butt, and a female selasphorus.   Whoopee. 
       Happy birding to all, and remember, you never saw a bird that didn’t see you first.  
Phil





On Sep 4, 2019, at 7:34 PM, Geoff Rogers <rogersgl1952@...> wrote:

Yes, all 3 are up there: chipmunk, ground squirrel, and owl. 
 
 
Geoffrey Rogers
San Diego, CA
 
From: Bruce Rideout [mailto:BRideout@...] 
Sent: Wednesday, September 4, 2019 7:20 PM
To: phil Pryde <PhilPinSD@...>
Cc: Geoff Rogers <rogersgl1952@...>
Subject: Re: [SanDiegoRegionBirding] Saw-whet Owl?
 

Phil: It turned out the recording I was thinking of is a ground squirrel, which still sounds very similar, just slightly higher pitched. In my experience, these squirrel and chipmunk calls can carry quite a distance and pick up reverberations along the way that make them sound very un-chipmunk like. 

Bruce 


On Sep 4, 2019, at 9:39 AM, phil Pryde <PhilPinSD@...> wrote:

Hi Geoff,  
       My “one second” interval was entirely a spur of the moment estimate - the calls were very quickly repeated and could easily have been less than a second.  But I won’t rule out chipmunk, either, except to say that the call seemed to be coming from a fair distance away, and if it was a chipmunk he would have needed a good set of lungs.  Do you have a recording of whatever sp. of chipmunk would have been up there? 
      Best, Phil 
 


On Sep 4, 2019, at 9:27 AM, Geoff Rogers <rogersgl1952@...> wrote:
 
Phil and all,
 
Not ruling saw-whet owl out but Birds of North America Online says calling speed is “about 2 per second.” I can vouch that an agitated saw-whet will briefly produce notes even faster. I think a speed nearing a second apart would be more in the Merriam’s Chipmunk range. 
 
Geoffrey Rogers
San Diego, CA
 
From: SanDiegoRegionBirding@groups.io [mailto:SanDiegoRegionBirding@groups.io] On Behalf Of phil Pryde
Sent: Tuesday, September 3, 2019 10:17 PM
To: sandiegoregionbirding@groups.io
Subject: [SanDiegoRegionBirding] Saw-whet Owl?
 
This morning (Tues.), while looking for the mythological Red Crossbill (aka the toilet paper bird), I heard at a distance an incessant call that seemed to meet the requirements for a Saw-whet Owl.  The loud sharp notes, a whistled sup, sup, sup . . . , were about a second apart, and went on and on and on . . .   
 
The Bird Atlas notes that it calls “rarely even at midday”.  I’d estimate it was about 9:30 a.m. when I heard it while at the toilet paper site. That would be near the southernmost portion of its regular range.  
 
Just wondering, if any one else who was up there looking for easily spotted wildlife (such as Bigfoot, Jimmy Hoffa, and purported Crossbills) also heard anything they suspected of being a Saw-whet Owl? 
 
 
 



Mary & Nick Freeman
 

Hi Phil

In the 19 years surveying owls in the San Gabriel Mountains in lLA County, we have found one NSWO calling at around 5pm on a summer day.  Another NSWO we found called at 2:30pm one spring day.  It’s rare to hear one calling during the day in general.

Cheers!

Mary Freeman
Glendale, CA

On Sep 4, 2019, at 8:10 PM, phil Pryde <PhilPinSD@...> wrote:

Hi Geoff, Nathan, Bruce, Dan, Gary, and everyone, 
       Thanks for all of your interesting input.  Collectively all the input tells me there’s a simple answer to my original question, which was, “Did anyone else hear, or thought they heard, a Saw-whet Owl near the Crossbill site?” 
       The simple one-word answer seems to be, “no”. 
       So I’m happy to leave it at that, namely:   maybe  I heard a SWOW along the lower Agua Dulce trail. Or maybe not.  Or maybe someone will get a chance to tape the mystery call.  Or maybe the critter will send me a selfie. 
       At least I saw my FOS butter-butt, and a female selasphorus.   Whoopee. 
       Happy birding to all, and remember, you never saw a bird that didn’t see you first.  
Phil





On Sep 4, 2019, at 7:34 PM, Geoff Rogers <rogersgl1952@...> wrote:

Yes, all 3 are up there: chipmunk, ground squirrel, and owl. 
 
 
Geoffrey Rogers
San Diego, CA
 
From: Bruce Rideout [mailto:BRideout@...] 
Sent: Wednesday, September 4, 2019 7:20 PM
To: phil Pryde <PhilPinSD@...>
Cc: Geoff Rogers <rogersgl1952@...>
Subject: Re: [SanDiegoRegionBirding] Saw-whet Owl?
 

Phil: It turned out the recording I was thinking of is a ground squirrel, which still sounds very similar, just slightly higher pitched. In my experience, these squirrel and chipmunk calls can carry quite a distance and pick up reverberations along the way that make them sound very un-chipmunk like. 

Bruce 


On Sep 4, 2019, at 9:39 AM, phil Pryde <PhilPinSD@...> wrote:

Hi Geoff,  
       My “one second” interval was entirely a spur of the moment estimate - the calls were very quickly repeated and could easily have been less than a second.  But I won’t rule out chipmunk, either, except to say that the call seemed to be coming from a fair distance away, and if it was a chipmunk he would have needed a good set of lungs.  Do you have a recording of whatever sp. of chipmunk would have been up there? 
      Best, Phil 
 


On Sep 4, 2019, at 9:27 AM, Geoff Rogers <rogersgl1952@...> wrote:
 
Phil and all,
 
Not ruling saw-whet owl out but Birds of North America Online says calling speed is “about 2 per second.” I can vouch that an agitated saw-whet will briefly produce notes even faster. I think a speed nearing a second apart would be more in the Merriam’s Chipmunk range. 
 
Geoffrey Rogers
San Diego, CA
 
From: SanDiegoRegionBirding@groups.io [mailto:SanDiegoRegionBirding@groups.io] On Behalf Of phil Pryde
Sent: Tuesday, September 3, 2019 10:17 PM
To: sandiegoregionbirding@groups.io
Subject: [SanDiegoRegionBirding] Saw-whet Owl?
 
This morning (Tues.), while looking for the mythological Red Crossbill (aka the toilet paper bird), I heard at a distance an incessant call that seemed to meet the requirements for a Saw-whet Owl.  The loud sharp notes, a whistled sup, sup, sup . . . , were about a second apart, and went on and on and on . . .   
 
The Bird Atlas notes that it calls “rarely even at midday”.  I’d estimate it was about 9:30 a.m. when I heard it while at the toilet paper site. That would be near the southernmost portion of its regular range.  
 
Just wondering, if any one else who was up there looking for easily spotted wildlife (such as Bigfoot, Jimmy Hoffa, and purported Crossbills) also heard anything they suspected of being a Saw-whet Owl? 
 
 
 




Geoffrey L. Rogers
 

All,

 

I’d think daytime calling has a connection with breeding season territoriality. On 2 Feb 2011, although a bit before breeding season, a saw-whet was calling without elicitation at 1:00PM near Thunder Spring, Palomar Mountain State Park. Over quite a few years I have no other full daylight records.

 

Yes, the simple answer to Phil’s question seems “no.” Thanks to him for reporting this originally.

 

Geoffrey Rogers

San Diego, CA

 

From: Mary & Nick Freeman [mailto:mnfreeman@...]
Sent: Saturday, September 7, 2019 12:12 AM
To: phil Pryde <PhilPinSD@...>
Cc: sandiegoregionbirding@groups.io; Geoff Rogers <rogersgl1952@...>; Andie Jehl <dandiej@...>; Nathan French <nathanfrenchphotography@...>; Bruce Rideout <BRideout@...>; Gary Nunn <garybnunn@...>
Subject: Re: [SanDiegoRegionBirding] Saw-whet Owl?

 

Hi Phil

 

In the 19 years surveying owls in the San Gabriel Mountains in lLA County, we have found one NSWO calling at around 5pm on a summer day.  Another NSWO we found called at 2:30pm one spring day.  It’s rare to hear one calling during the day in general.

 

Cheers!

 

Mary Freeman

Glendale, CA

 

On Sep 4, 2019, at 8:10 PM, phil Pryde <PhilPinSD@...> wrote:

 

Hi Geoff, Nathan, Bruce, Dan, Gary, and everyone, 

       Thanks for all of your interesting input.  Collectively all the input tells me there’s a simple answer to my original question, which was, “Did anyone else hear, or thought they heard, a Saw-whet Owl near the Crossbill site?” 

       The simple one-word answer seems to be, “no”. 

       So I’m happy to leave it at that, namely:   maybe  I heard a SWOW along the lower Agua Dulce trail. Or maybe not.  Or maybe someone will get a chance to tape the mystery call.  Or maybe the critter will send me a selfie. 

       At least I saw my FOS butter-butt, and a female selasphorus.   Whoopee. 

       Happy birding to all, and remember, you never saw a bird that didn’t see you first.  

Phil

 

 

 

 



On Sep 4, 2019, at 7:34 PM, Geoff Rogers <rogersgl1952@...> wrote:

 

Yes, all 3 are up there: chipmunk, ground squirrel, and owl. 

 

 

Geoffrey Rogers

San Diego, CA

 

From: Bruce Rideout [mailto:BRideout@...] 
Sent: Wednesday, September 4, 2019 7:20 PM
To: phil Pryde <PhilPinSD@...>
Cc: Geoff Rogers <rogersgl1952@...>
Subject: Re: [SanDiegoRegionBirding] Saw-whet Owl?

 

Phil: It turned out the recording I was thinking of is a ground squirrel, which still sounds very similar, just slightly higher pitched. In my experience, these squirrel and chipmunk calls can carry quite a distance and pick up reverberations along the way that make them sound very un-chipmunk like. 

Bruce 


On Sep 4, 2019, at 9:39 AM, phil Pryde <PhilPinSD@...> wrote:

Hi Geoff,  

       My “one second” interval was entirely a spur of the moment estimate - the calls were very quickly repeated and could easily have been less than a second.  But I won’t rule out chipmunk, either, except to say that the call seemed to be coming from a fair distance away, and if it was a chipmunk he would have needed a good set of lungs.  Do you have a recording of whatever sp. of chipmunk would have been up there? 

      Best, Phil 

 




On Sep 4, 2019, at 9:27 AM, Geoff Rogers <rogersgl1952@...> wrote:

 

Phil and all,

 

Not ruling saw-whet owl out but Birds of North America Online says calling speed is “about 2 per second.” I can vouch that an agitated saw-whet will briefly produce notes even faster. I think a speed nearing a second apart would be more in the Merriam’s Chipmunk range. 

 

Geoffrey Rogers

San Diego, CA

 

From: SanDiegoRegionBirding@groups.io [mailto:SanDiegoRegionBirding@groups.io] On Behalf Of phil Pryde
Sent: Tuesday, September 3, 2019 10:17 PM
To: sandiegoregionbirding@groups.io
Subject: [SanDiegoRegionBirding] Saw-whet Owl?

 

This morning (Tues.), while looking for the mythological Red Crossbill (aka the toilet paper bird), I heard at a distance an incessant call that seemed to meet the requirements for a Saw-whet Owl.  The loud sharp notes, a whistled sup, sup, sup . . . , were about a second apart, and went on and on and on . . .   

 

The Bird Atlas notes that it calls “rarely even at midday”.  I’d estimate it was about 9:30 a.m. when I heard it while at the toilet paper site. That would be near the southernmost portion of its regular range.  

 

Just wondering, if any one else who was up there looking for easily spotted wildlife (such as Bigfoot, Jimmy Hoffa, and purported Crossbills) also heard anything they suspected of being a Saw-whet Owl? 

 

 

 

 

 

 


phil Pryde
 

Thanks, Mary. 
Phil 

On Sep 7, 2019, at 12:12 AM, Mary & Nick Freeman <mnfreeman@...> wrote:

Hi Phil

In the 19 years surveying owls in the San Gabriel Mountains in lLA County, we have found one NSWO calling at around 5pm on a summer day.  Another NSWO we found called at 2:30pm one spring day.  It’s rare to hear one calling during the day in general.

Cheers!

Mary Freeman
Glendale, CA

On Sep 4, 2019, at 8:10 PM, phil Pryde <PhilPinSD@...> wrote:

Hi Geoff, Nathan, Bruce, Dan, Gary, and everyone, 
       Thanks for all of your interesting input.  Collectively all the input tells me there’s a simple answer to my original question, which was, “Did anyone else hear, or thought they heard, a Saw-whet Owl near the Crossbill site?” 
       The simple one-word answer seems to be, “no”. 
       So I’m happy to leave it at that, namely:   maybe  I heard a SWOW along the lower Agua Dulce trail. Or maybe not.  Or maybe someone will get a chance to tape the mystery call.  Or maybe the critter will send me a selfie. 
       At least I saw my FOS butter-butt, and a female selasphorus.   Whoopee. 
       Happy birding to all, and remember, you never saw a bird that didn’t see you first.  
Phil





On Sep 4, 2019, at 7:34 PM, Geoff Rogers <rogersgl1952@...> wrote:

Yes, all 3 are up there: chipmunk, ground squirrel, and owl. 
 
 
Geoffrey Rogers
San Diego, CA
 
From: Bruce Rideout [mailto:BRideout@...] 
Sent: Wednesday, September 4, 2019 7:20 PM
To: phil Pryde <PhilPinSD@...>
Cc: Geoff Rogers <rogersgl1952@...>
Subject: Re: [SanDiegoRegionBirding] Saw-whet Owl?
 

Phil: It turned out the recording I was thinking of is a ground squirrel, which still sounds very similar, just slightly higher pitched. In my experience, these squirrel and chipmunk calls can carry quite a distance and pick up reverberations along the way that make them sound very un-chipmunk like. 

Bruce 


On Sep 4, 2019, at 9:39 AM, phil Pryde <PhilPinSD@...> wrote:

Hi Geoff,  
       My “one second” interval was entirely a spur of the moment estimate - the calls were very quickly repeated and could easily have been less than a second.  But I won’t rule out chipmunk, either, except to say that the call seemed to be coming from a fair distance away, and if it was a chipmunk he would have needed a good set of lungs.  Do you have a recording of whatever sp. of chipmunk would have been up there? 
      Best, Phil 
 


On Sep 4, 2019, at 9:27 AM, Geoff Rogers <rogersgl1952@...> wrote:
 
Phil and all,
 
Not ruling saw-whet owl out but Birds of North America Online says calling speed is “about 2 per second.” I can vouch that an agitated saw-whet will briefly produce notes even faster. I think a speed nearing a second apart would be more in the Merriam’s Chipmunk range. 
 
Geoffrey Rogers
San Diego, CA
 
From: SanDiegoRegionBirding@groups.io [mailto:SanDiegoRegionBirding@groups.io] On Behalf Of phil Pryde
Sent: Tuesday, September 3, 2019 10:17 PM
To: sandiegoregionbirding@groups.io
Subject: [SanDiegoRegionBirding] Saw-whet Owl?
 
This morning (Tues.), while looking for the mythological Red Crossbill (aka the toilet paper bird), I heard at a distance an incessant call that seemed to meet the requirements for a Saw-whet Owl.  The loud sharp notes, a whistled sup, sup, sup . . . , were about a second apart, and went on and on and on . . .   
 
The Bird Atlas notes that it calls “rarely even at midday”.  I’d estimate it was about 9:30 a.m. when I heard it while at the toilet paper site. That would be near the southernmost portion of its regular range.  
 
Just wondering, if any one else who was up there looking for easily spotted wildlife (such as Bigfoot, Jimmy Hoffa, and purported Crossbills) also heard anything they suspected of being a Saw-whet Owl?