[Tweeters] Cassin's Vireo vs. Purple Finch songs, Cassin's Vireo arrival

Robert O'Brien baro at pdx.edu
Tue Apr 19 21:07:08 PDT 2022

My $0.02 worth.
I agree completely with Scott's comments re: Swainson's Thrush, and many,
many kindred comments of others in WA and here in OR, especially this time
of year.. But, perhaps there is a little more.....
I've lived at this very rural location here, 20mi SE of Portland, for
almost 50 years. I am outside, now that I'm retired, virtually every day,
year round. Swainson's Thrushes nest here and pass through in small
numbers, but are very reclusive at all times. I'm quite familiar with
their song and their calls' 'whit, whit'. Now one would expect to hear
their calls before their songs, all things being equal, in migration.
On two separate days within the last week I've heard the whit, whit call.
(not the whinnying call). Twice But only a single, short episode in each
incidencence. Now, if Song Sparrows (or any other resident bird) were
uttering this call I would hear it more often. Song sparrows are the most
common, small, ground bird. here year round. and I know their ways very
well.. I have no personal doubt that these whit whitters were very early,
very reclusive (as usual) Swainson's Thrushes. Now these are single person
sound records and I would never bother to 'report' them except in this
particular situation..
*Whit whit* to all in the Pacific NW,or Cascadia, or wherever.
Bob OBrien Portland

On Tue, Apr 19, 2022 at 12:57 PM Scott Atkinson <scottratkinson at hotmail.com>

> Tweeters:


> Good comments posted on Purple Finch alternate song likeness to Cassin's

> Vireo songs. Another helpful clue (not as a stand-alone however) is

> location of the singing bird. Singing Purples at this time of year

> especially are prone to treetop perches or close by, usually in the open

> for maximum broadcast. By contrast, Cassin's Vireo is prone toward mixed

> or coniferous forest interior, or at least interior of the tree chosen, for

> singing.


> Dates of arrival for Cassin's Vireo are a little different than as

> reported by Steve. Cassin's Vireo is long known as an April FOS bird; this

> cold year the migration peak may be reached after May 1st, but normally

> Cassin's Vireo migration is strongest in latter April in wWA lowlands.

> Exceptionally, Cassin's Vireo has even arrived in the w. WA lowlands in

> late March, though I don't recall any such encounters in recent years.


> I think 'ol Gary has explained well the reports we seem to get of very

> early Swainson's Thrush--that are in fact Song Sparrows (or other sp.).

> Seems clear enough that while a few birds have shown in the last decade of

> the month (especially the very last days of April), arrival in the first

> week of May is the norm.


> Scott Atkinson

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