[Tweeters] Re A little help with bird song or call

Jane Hadley hadleyj1725 at gmail.com
Tue Jul 3 00:28:50 PDT 2018

Hello All - The Tweeters community once again has come through
beautifully in helping me to identify a bird.

This is a bird that I recorded with my Android phone in Neah Bay on
September 7, 2016. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, I fell down on
the job and failed to write down the location, habitat and other
pertinent details of the recording. I now cannot remember where in Neah
Bay I recorded this nor the habitat. Let that be a lesson to me.

Tweetsters had much to offer.

For example, Tweetster Bruce Lagerquist very kindly provided me with a
cleaned-up version of my original recording that makes it much easier to
hear the bird. You can listen to his improved version at:


Bruce also produced a sonogram of the recording, which you can see at:


The sonogram is useful for comparing with sonograms at Xeno-Canto. More
about that later.

I heard from 10 people. Three of them said they didn't know what it was,
two asked for habitat information, and four said they believed the bird
is Purple Martin. The 10th person said he thought it might be
White-winged Crossbill but was not sure about it.

The four identifying it as Purple Martin were Dave Slager, Stuart
Johnston, Cathy Flick, and Bob Boekelheide.

Stuart provided this interesting commentary:

"It sounds like a Purple Martin to me, though it lacks the deep musical
gurgling quality of PUMA "song", say when a martin is flying around
making normal conversation. This bird's calls, repeated over and over
again, remind me of the "angry-sounding" calls martins make when giving
chase to aerial predators, or perhaps even ground animals that pose a
threat, like a cat."

Bob Boekelheide said a similar thing:

"call of Purple Martin?  Maybe a agitated or mobbing call?"

And Bruce Lagerquist sleuthed his way to a recording at Xeno-Canto that
matched in audio and sonogram our bird:


Note the remarks of the person who made this recording: She describes
the Purple Martin calls as "agitated" and part of a mobbing operation
that she was observing.

Soooo, the consensus seems to be agitated, mobbing calls by a Purple Martin.

Thanks much to the Tweeters community from whom I never cease to learn.

Jane Hadley

Seattle, WA

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