[Tweeters] Two unusual calls in the backyard

Jonathan Bent bent.jonathan at gmail.com
Tue Jul 16 22:21:42 PDT 2013

Hi Tweeters,

Over the last few days in our backyard on Whidbey Island, I've heard two
vocalizations that I don't recognize. One is a simple repeated two-note
phrase, and the other is a very high-register 5-note phrase. Both have
co-occurred with American Goldfinch calls. While I can believe the 2-note
call could be an American Goldfinch, the 5-note song sounds too
high-register (more like Chestnut-backed Chickadee or Townsend's Warbler
range). After listening to a number of AMGO recordings on Xeno Canto, I
can't come across anything like either of them. Of course, American
Goldfinches are *always* the most vocal birds in our backyard, so it
doesn't necessarily mean anything that they were calling at the same time
as the bird(s) in question. One thing that strikes me about both
vocalizations is that they repeat periodically, which is a pattern I don't
typically associate with AMGOs. Recordings on Soundcloud below:


I took the recordings with my phone, but I have edited out background
noise, boosted the treble and gain, and removed some dead air and dialogue
to make them a bit easier to listen to. Check the descriptions to see the
timing of the vocalizations within the recording.

Please let me know if you have any ideas on IDs. Thanks in advance!

Jonathan Bent
Whidbey Island/Seattle
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