A Song for June 05

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Click the sonogram to hear and see the sound.

It was almost completely dark, but I was in the town of Davidson, and the birds were already singing. Artificial light presumably stimulates, or enables, them to start a little earlier than their country cousins. This catbird was ensconced in a tall hedge. I never saw him, but his voice identifies him. To begin with, he occasionally sounds a little like a cat, as at 1:01. And his singing style is distinctive. Three kinds of mimic thrushes (Mimidae) live in eastern North America. The Northern Mockingbird repeats sounds several times, the Brown Thrasher repeats once, and this bird, the Gray Catbird, barely repeats at all. In this regard, he is more like the western thrashers, e.g., Crissal and California, than his eastern relatives. All of them produce sounds with a distinctive mimid quality. Listen and look for it in the reprise below. Try to listen to the sounds only, and ignore the repetition. That will be difficult with the mockingbird, because he is so repetitious. He also borrows so many sounds from other birds that he only occasionally sneaks mimid-typical sounds into his performance. Why would you bother, if you could imitate a burglar alarm (0:47)?

Other Goodies from June 5

Brewer's Sparrow
Eastern Towhee
Carolina Wren

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