This bird was sitting in plain view in the top of a low bush when I recorded him, so, for once on this trip, it was easy to confirm
identification visually. That was especially important in this case, because the very similar-looking Chinese Rubythroat was a possibility.
The bird was sitting on a bush because there were no trees. The 10,800-foot pass between Songpan and JiuZhaiGou
was nearly flat, and covered with grass and low shrubs. This is the habitat of the White-browed Tit, the only chickadee species in
the world that lives in completely treeless areas. Many other species inhabited these shrublands, as well, but the best singer was
probably this very rubythroat. After all, he is called Calliope, and
that means "beautiful-voiced."
Let the "tape" roll, and look at the variety he generates. Is every song completely different, or does
he use phrases again? How are his songs constructed, and which more familiar singers does he remind you of? Static sonograms are
below in case you want to dive into these questions. The top one is the same as the one above. The bottom one may be listened to
here or by following the link to the eBird checklist. When all is said and done, is he beautiful-voiced?