[Tweeters] Starlings imitate Soras

Kevin Lucas vikingcove at gmail.com
Sun Apr 8 20:51:04 PDT 2018


Your timing is perfect.

Earlier this year, for the first time, I too watched starlings doing
perfect Sora imitations. Both times they were in Sora habitat here in
Yakima County -- once in reeds without another starling in sight, the other
time in a Willow tree on the edge of a slough. I'm fortunate in being able
to pinpoint bird locations by ear. I told several bird watcher friends
about it. It made me wonder how many times early reports of Sora were in
error, then wonder about in-season reports, including my own. Both times
the starling was imitating the "sora" call, not the "whinny". What I call
the "sora" call is what Sibley refers to as "kerwee".

And about your perfect timing: Today along Lateral C just north of
Toppenish Creek Mary & I heard the "whinny" call of a Sora repeatedly,
coming from the reeds, loud and clear even in the strong wind. Then it
switched to the "sora" call, occasionally doing a whiny. We never saw the
bird, but am pretty sure it was actually a Sora, and put it as such on my
checklist. (My audio recording was overwhelmed by wind noise.)

A couple of years ago, further into Sora season, Mary & I were listening to
and watching a Sora along Old Goldendale Road. It was very vocal, and often
visible, coming right onto the road. I began to wonder what was inspiring
it to be so loud and bold. Then I realized it was responding to a
Yellow-headed Blackbird across the road. Whenever the Yellow-headed
Blackbird took a break, so did the Sora. Though not perfect like the
starlings, part of the Yellow-headed Blackbird's vocalization sounded a lot
like a Sora. It got me wondering how many people have been fooled by that.

Good birding,
Kevin Lucas
Selah, Yakima County, WA


On Sun, Apr 8, 2018 at 8:11 PM, Gary Bletsch <garybletsch at yahoo.com> wrote:

> Dear Tweeters,


> In three recent visits to the Fir Island Game Range (AKA Wylie Slough) in

> Skagit County, I have been unable to relocate a Sora that was reported a

> few days ago. I even resorted to playing recordings.


> Today, though, I did observe a Starling as it was performing a perfect

> imitation of a Sora calling. This was in a stand of dead trees about midway

> between the birders' blind and the camouflage-colored hunters' blind.


> Starlings imitate Soras around my house, so I am used to hearing them do

> this. At my place, the Starlings do a pretty good American Wigeon, too.


> Yours truly,


> Gary Bletsch


> _______________________________________________

> Tweeters mailing list

> Tweeters at u.washington.edu

> http://mailman1.u.washington.edu/mailman/listinfo/tweeters



-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://mailman11.u.washington.edu/pipermail/tweeters/attachments/20180408/00d6401a/attachment.html>

More information about the Tweeters mailing list