[Tweeters] Singing Juncos

Bob Sundstrom ixoreus at scattercreek.com
Wed Mar 10 17:51:41 PST 2021

The junco song that is so different from its basic trill is called its Short Range Song. Birds of the World account reads:
“Both sexes sing SRS (Figure 2A), which is series of varying syllables, including short whistles, trills, warbles, call notes, syllables probably borrowed from LRS and other sounds; syllable is repeated, if at all, only much later in bout (Titus 1998); SRS sometimes compared to song of American Goldfinch. Audible to humans at <20 m distance, usually 10 m (Tanner 1958, Hostetter 1961, Titus 1998). Amplitude of one male, 43 dB at 1 m (RCT); female's amplitude usually lower than male's. Male SRS consists of 7–27 syllables (n= 4 cases), female 3–24 syllables (n = 3). Frequency range (both sexes) is 1.1–11.4 kHz, i.e., wider than in LRS (Titus 1998). Balph (Balph 1977c) reports probable SRS sung in winter (15 syllable types). SRS frequently (males) or infrequently (female) accompanied by feather erection, including spreading of tail (Titus 1998); at times it is sung during periods of short, rapid change of perch (Hostetter 1961), but also sung repeatedly while on same perch.”

I hear largely in early, and at low volume. The trilled song is their Long Range Song.

Bob Sundstrom

Sent from my iPhone

> On Mar 10, 2021, at 12:49 PM, Glenn Johnson <glennjo at yahoo.com> wrote:


> 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


> Glenn Johnson

> https://ebird.org/profile/MTA4MzQ2


> 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?

> CheersMary


> Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android

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