[Tweeters] Singing Juncos

Glenn Johnson glennjo at yahoo.com
Wed Mar 10 12:46:00 PST 2021

Edit to my recent message: I spoke with Denis DeSilvis (not Paulson) last year regarding this alternate junco vocalization. 

On Wednesday, March 10, 2021, 12:35:48 PM PST, Glenn Johnson <glennjo at yahoo.com> wrote:

Hi Mary & the Tweeters, 

I've noticed since moving to Tacoma in 2014 that a number of the juncos in Pierce county have an alternate song, usually in the early spring and often in the presence of at least one female (and sometimes males or additional females) in close proximity. It's usually within a bush or tree, not on top of a usual singing perch. I spoke with Denis Paulson last year who was familiar with the vocalization. 

It's often very quiet and easy to miss. In my experience this alternate song is incredibly rich, varied, long, and complex, and may incorporate elements of their usual song but more resembles an American Goldfinch mixed with a quiet Townsend's Solitaire, and goes on for sometimes a minute or more, and often repeats. It does not resemble their usual "bell ringing at a sewing machine pace" song whatsoever. I have videos where I've captured the song, and recently tried to see if BirdNet could identify it, but often the urban sounds often compete so I don't have many excellent recordings. Based on these observations and the widespread ability for many species to mimic others, I would not be surprised to hear a junco sing anything, including a warbler. 

Where are you located? 


Glenn Johnson

Message: 4
Date: Tue, 9 Mar 2021 21:17:45 +0000 (UTC)
From: Mary Newlander <maresblucrew at yahoo.com>
To: "tweeters at u.washington.edu" <tweeters at u.washington.edu>
Subject: [Tweeters] Singing juncos
Message-ID: <846104871.1913138.1615324665843 at mail.yahoo.com>

Hi Tweeters. I've been reading for a really long time but have only posted once, 6ish years back lol.
Anyway, I'm a long time birder. My property has been crawling with Juncos this year. I was out with my binoculars yesterday trying to track down the singer of an unusual song (I often forget who sings what). Finally, I followed who I thought was the singer into a leafless hazelnut bush. Then I saw the bird was a junco and said "meh, wrong bird" and went back to my enormous fir, only to hear the song coming from behind me in the hazelnut. I almost dropped my binocs when this male junco actually sang a warbling song. I got to within a few feet of him and it was definitely him singing.
Loooong story short, has anyone ever heard/seen a Dark Eyed Junco sing more than their usual tweet?

Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android

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