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Interview 9:05 - 1:42:43 Play 9:05 - More
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Donald Kroodsma, William McQuay  

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Bird vocalizations discussion.  

Gray Flycatcher -- Empidonax wrightii 37:39 - 48:32 Play 37:39 - More
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Interview 1:04:59 - 1:08:43 Play 1:04:59 - More
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Gregory Budney, Donald Kroodsma  

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Bird discussion.  

Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon) -- Junco hyemalis [oreganus Group] 1:16:51 - 1:17:53 Play 1:16:51 - More
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Environmental Recording 1:35:40 - 1:37:43 Play 1:35:40 - More
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Birds ambiance  

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NPR/NGS Radio Expeditions

    Geography
  • United States
    California
    Plumas County
    Latitude/Longitude
  • 39.6500042   -120.4881763
    Elevation
  • 2060 meters
    Channels
  • Stereo
    Sampling Rate
  • 48kHz
    Bit Depth
  • 16-bit
    Recorders
    Microphones
    Accessories
    Equipment Note
  • Omni mics.

Show: LNS
Log of DAT #: 4A
Engineer: McQuay
Date:

0:20-0:50
ambi -stream

0:50-3:56
Testing and chat about weather and other not applicable chat.

3:36 uv
There's a night hawk calling there, off to the right. (speaker makes a noise, a birdcall I assume)

4:02-4:30
distant chirping. Very quiet. Rather fuzzy sound

4:35-5:30
walking. Car door shutting at 4:56. Other sounds of movement and fidgeting but no good ambi sound.

5:30
Recording is stopped. Starts again.

5:30-6:29
static like/fuzzy sound. Either wind, water, or just static.

6:30 uv
Racing toward us from the East a mile every five seconds, the sunrise. It's just picking up everything in it's path. You can almost feel the wave approaching. They don't feel it here yet.

8:24 uv
There is a little fear inside of me that we need to go another half-mile down the road. Well we can walk a half mile. Let's work our way this way.

8:35-
sounds of walking

9:09 uv
I have a hunch that the habitat on the left is good for chipping sparrows and the gray flycatcher. Are you rolling? Oh you are.

9:24-10:41 uv
Now these chipping sparrows would come down from these tall pine trees and sing on the ground, very low. So we need open parkland, where they would sing. But what I was really hoping was that we'd get some bruer sparrows, very closely related, they're in the same genus. They just haven't been studied, but I just know they do the same thing. I remember back in 70, 1970, thirty years ago, standing like we are now with nothing singing, it was out the sagebrush in Central Oregon, and just suddenly all these birds just erupted around me. So it had to be all these territory owners coming together at their boundary and then they sing this long canary like song. It just seems like endless variety. And then during the daytime, it's just a simple, two-parted song. It just a different bird. And it would be really exciting standing in the sagebrush among them.

10:46 uv
And the smell of the sage adds a whole new layer to it too. Sensual overload. (?!)

10:55-11:34 uv
sounds of walking

11:43 uv
I'm surprised we are hearing any, cause on a moonlit night like this it's as if these birds are just building up energy all night long, and every once in a while one of them just belts out a song, and then it's quite again.

12:14 uv
Something low frequency wasn't it? Owl like?

12:20-13:42
silence

13:43 uv
Owls quite often call just before sunrise. I don't know the owls here

13:55-14:20
silence

14:21 uv
Let's walk up to the trees up there.

14:25-15:35
sounds of walking. Some chit-chat about being up early in the morning.

15:35 uv
I hear something off to the right. Pause just a minute again.

15:45-16:32
silence

16:33-17:01 uv
Wes strain to hear anything in the distance and within half an hour it should be all around us. How far does sound carry this time of day? There is a nighthawk pinting overhead again.

17:10-17:45 uv
The nighthawk is a relative of the whippoorwill, the goatsuckers, night jars. Night jars a god name. I pulled an all nighter with a whippoorwill, just had to do it. Estimated that he sage 19, 785 songs in one night. That's almost one a second. It was a full moon, must have been 28 days ago. It was incredible.

17:48 Bill
I'm gonna take a few minutes here to switch something out. I'm getting more sound in my pre-amp than I'd like.

18:20-18:35
technical feedback and other tech. Problems

18:32
a sound like a small drum

18:35 Bill
What's that?

18:37-18:47 uv
The nighthawk has this display where it dives and it sounds like a roar. It's a low frequency. It sounds like an owl.

19:17 Bill
Okay.

19:20 uv
Problem solved?

19:22 bill
I think so.

19:25-19:47 uv
So the nighthawk, he goes pint pint over head and then he goes into this display dive and it's just a roar of the wings as he pulls out, and that low frequency that carry the waves. I heard one just a little closer but I'm sure that's what it was.

20:16-20:25 uv
I wonder what habitat this is to the right. It looks like sagebrush. It might be some sagebrush.

20:44-21:16 uv
To do this right it almost requires two days. The first day you come out and you do the best you can, but you sometimes you find out a little late where you wished you had been. And then you come back the next day and you do it right. I don't know what your time frame is, but I'm pretty flexible these next few days.

21:17-23:14
silence

23:15 uv
Hearing the silence before the rush at dawn makes it all the more priceless

23:28-23:53 uv
I'm surprised we don't hear some poorwhills, relatives of the nighthawk and whip-poor-wills. There's nothing
24:26 uv
for sometimes though I've been hearing this occasional call. It's not an intense continuous kind singing. I don't know what it is.

25:06-25:26 uvWe might walk just a little further, but we're in a good position here to hear what happens out in the open to the right and in the trees, but if we walk just to the edge of the woods here I think it might be a perfect place to stop and just wait for them.

25:27-
sounds of walking

26:31 uv
I see light back there.

26:37 Bill
Something's comin.

26:38-27:50
chat about who is coming up the road and movies

28:33 uv
We'll step to the other side and chat with the driver I guess.

28:53 uv
Have you seen any gray flycatchers?

28:55 uv
I haven't heard a thing. It's completely quite.

28:58 uv
I don't know whether to attribute that to the bright moon conditions or whether it's habitat in this particular area.

29:04 uv
It's too early. How much further are you going?

290:05 uv
We're going about a mile and a half further up and we'll be parking just off the Forest Service Road on the right side in sort of a parkland like this.

29:21 uv
We may follow you. Do you think this habitat is bad?

29:25 uv
I don't think it's bad. I don't think it's as prime as that.

29:27 uv
Okay. Go, go.

29:35
Recording is stopped. Starts again.

29:35 uv *(from __ to __ is also on Shawn's dat #6.) Sound is better on dat#6 than here)
**a lot of noise when the cattle or sheep walk through them. At any rate, what we're here for is Gray Flycatcher's pre-dawn song. I don't hear any at the moment. Let's not give up hope yet. They will be calling from this sort of parkland, open, coniferous forest area. Ends at 2:39

2:39-4:31 uv
I just hear one, shlick-lee shlick-lee. It's a series of short notes like that given relatively continuously given right before the period where you would say, oh the sun is just about to come up. When that occurs they slow down and go into their more typical measured daytime response. They will be roosting now in these long-needled Jeffrey Pines. Some in shorter pines which may give you an opportunity to get one at practically eye level. And they are quite attached to their roost perch so that you will b able to approach them quite closely. In fact when it got light enough to see three participants discovered that they had converged on one small gray flycatcher in a small Christmas tree sized pine tree from three different directions and they had it surrounded. But they didn't know that, they had each crept in the pitch darkness. Some of them will be calling higher up but unlikely that they will be up on hillside so stay pretty much on this plateau level of terrain. From where we are now in the direction we were headed on the Forest Service Route 1 for another half mile is all good gray flycatcher pre-dawn habitat.

4:31- uv
Off to our north, to my right, there's another open meadow area that when the regular dawn chorus starts will probably be a good recording area. The stream that goes through it is kind of on this edge of it and bares around to my right, sort of around a rocky point that was a quarry for improving the forest road hear. And then cuts through a gulch down to the main Carmen Valley meadow that we skirted on the way in at the head of which were the sheep. In that main meadow after dawn you will find clumps willow of distributed along the valley, in which Jim Steele's Banding crew on this morning plans to set-up a series of mistnets to capture birds to measure and band to determine just what birds are moving into this habitat and using this habitat this time of year.

5:48-6:57 uv
The valley is also the sight of an experimental stream improvement project. You noticed the culverts that we went over at the head of the big pipes.

33:24 uv
Folks, I'm happy to convene a small group of over here, real, real quick and I'll tell you where to look.. This area right here with these Jeffrey pines is historically on of the better . . . (technical difficulties, low volume.

3:45-
sounds of walking

34:07-34:48 uv
Robins are often the first birds to sing in any habitat. Here they are. (sounds of tweeting in the background0. And for anybody starting to listen to birds they are a great start because you pull up a lawn chair and listen and you start to hear what they are doing and they have about ten different songs that they sing. You pick out one song that you can recognize and you listen for it and you hear it, then you pick out another one. And each of these birds, that's a voice print. You can recognize the same bird. Day after day, if he's back the next year he has the same songs.

35:38 uv
Gray flycatcher's

35:40-37:30
walking and talk about getting closer

37:30-41:00 (This is good but the next ambi portion at 42:26 might be better.)
ambi -birds

41:00 Bill
I'm afraid to get too much closer.

41:03-41:06 uv
mumbling. I think he is saying that they can get closer without scaring the birds.

41:07 Bill
Is that right?

41:09 uv
You've got nothing to loose. Give it a try and see what you get.

41:12-42:25 sounds of walking

42:26-48:17
ambi -birds. Intermittent sounds of walking in the first few minutes

48:18 Bill
Alright, this was the flycatcher from different perspectives. This is the close ¿up.

48:48 uv
Is he still there:

48:49 Bill
Oh yeah.

48:51 uv
You didn't chase him away. So how close did you get?

49:00 Bill
Several feet I guess.

49:02 uv
You got that close!

49:03 Bill
I think. It's hard to for me to tell quiet honestly.

49:07 uv
But the sound was good?

49:09 Bill
Very good, very, very good.

49:21-49:51 uv
They energy that they throw into this at dawn ins phenomenal and as I said I don't know this bird I don't know what he is going to do later in the day, but listening to Greg and Andy they said he will be in the tops of the trees and maybe you'd hear just a single one of these calls but never all strung together. If we stuck with him long enough we'd hear that transition. But I've been listening to other ones, and there's one maybe fifty yards off this direction.

49:57-51:28 uv
And these are, it's a group of birds that does not learn it's songs. They're flycatchers. So the songs are build right into the DNA , somehow. Nobody knows how. So his songs will be exactly like his songs over there. Unlike these song birds, the robin, the chipping sparrows. They learn their songs, so there is room for all of this individual expression. This bird, you're hearing everything it can do. Where the two sounds, he sings one awhile and then punctuates it with a higher one. So you're hearing everything he can do, so they don't learn their songs so as a rule they have very simple songs and a very small repertoire. Whereas this robin over here , he has at least ten different songs, and it's more complicated. Now he has ten different (whistling noises) nice whistle songs, but then he has all these very frequency histly histly, those flute like notes. He might have a hundred or so of those. So these birds that can learn have the potential for huge repertoires. Potential, that's the key word there. They don't always achieve that. Like these chipping sparrows will have just one song a piece but we really should try to find some chipping sparrows, but I haven't heard any.

51:29 uv
There is a beautiful singer up there, a green-tailed towhee, but he's along distance away. It may be our best bet is to walk back in the direction everybody else is. We got a good score on him without bells. There was a dog at one point, I think.

51:53 Bill
I didn't hear it.

51:54 uv
You didn't hear it. There were also some very low frequency, they have to be nighthawks displaying. I should confirm that with people who know the birds here better. But you hear this wooo, this wooosh, very low frequency roar, and it has to be the wings of the night hawk as they're displaying. But we aren't hearing the pint calls, that's what we were hearing way back when we first stopped. So I think that one of the background noises you'll hear is that woosh of the wings, that roar of the wings. If it picks it up, depends on how close you were.

51:34 Bill
Where did we hear -I heard something where we were earlier. But it was very indistinct -it was very quite.

52:48 uv
And they're will be a robin in the background and a green-tailed towhee. There wasn't a whole lot else there. But some habitats are just so much quieter than others. Nothing beats and Eastern Forest for, or a cemetery, uh, this is just, there is so little, so little going on here. There is a very pretty singer there. I think that's a green-tailed towhee, behind us. But I don't hear the wood peewees that they're talking about or the chipping sparrows. And hear comes the wind. That may be the last of the good recording. (sound of wind) What would you like to try to do Bill? Do you want to try to, there is a god story in the chipping sparrows if we can find them, that would excite listeners.

54:16 Bill
I'm interested in what excites you about all this, the whole experience, whatever that would be?

54:21-55:02 uv
Ok,ok. I don't know where we would have to go to find chipping sparrows. It's probably the kind of thing that you would have to set up the day before and then be right in among them. There is another gray flycatcher and our little window is almost gone already. There may be a chipping sparrow up here. There may be chipping sparrow sounds alike here too.

55:17-56:19 uv
Here's a chipping-sparrow-like-bird singing. Hear that dry rattle. Oh there's that peer of the peewee too. You need a high density of chipping sparrows for them to go through this routine. Under a low density , like if you have just that one male in a n area he doesn't bother to sing at dawn. He needs that social competition among the other males. And his song, it's about a second long and I hear only one. I'm assuming that's a chipping sparrow. I don't know what else it could be. But I hear on that one bird. We can walk this way.

56:34 uv
We don't want to disturb anybody else's effort here.

56:42 uv
Now I can't tell for sure but my ears tell me that this bird is low. I can get a parabola of him and determine exactly where he is.

57:00-57:55 uv
He is right here on the ground. See where I'm pointing with the parabola. He's maybe fifteen yards in front of us. On the ground here. But I don't hear any other birds around. Not another bird. So his songs are pretty short. One thousand one. Maybe a second long. You want to try to get him. He's gonna be a lot more spooky than the other birds, so you just let it run as you try to sneak up on him, but it's worth a try.

58:05
ambi -birds

59:08 uv
He's off to the left about thirty yards, but there's another chipping sparrow over here. It's a very different quality to his song. His is kind of a more rapid trill and this is kind of a more dry rattle. Just very different songs. See he was just spooked. He was on the ground here.

59:50-1:00:39uv
I have been among them when it was pitch black out, couldn't see them, and I don't know why I just stopped the carat this given location, something made me stop the car. I don't think I ever got the recording equipment started, but there were three or four of them all around me and just sputtering at each other. I don't know how long it lasted. It could have been seconds or ten minutes. Time just stopped and to be among them as they were battling. You know everyday you come out you learn some thing new. This is a very dispersed interaction. The other bird is at least fifty, that's a hundred yards away I think.

1:00:41-1:58:00 uv
If we had been here earlier maybe they would have been right close together on the ground. There is a whole interesting story here about, that bird has a very different song from this bird, and the student working with me, Won Dwin(?), unbelievable work ethic to learn all that he learned, but he would band lots of baby chipping sparrows and follow them. And they'd move a mile or so. And he found that these babies, during their hatching summer, would learn the precise details of another chipping sparrow next to them. And so we can declare that these two did not learn them from each other. And then every once in a while you find a pair of birds wit identical songs, and you know their history. You know that one is at least a year older than the other and they learned it from the other, or it's possible you had two young birds learning from the same adult and he's disappeared. But you know that they are entangled in a little cultural, a tradition, cause they learn they're songs, it's such a little micro dialect.

1:58:00-1:02:31 uv
Why they have that we don't know. What good it does them. Very seldom do you find these pairs of birds sitting next to each other with the same song. So you can usually stand in an area and identify all of the sparrows by their songs. And we still have the same chippy over there. This one who was here and then moved there. I hear further over now.

1:02:44-1:03:30 uv
I'm straining but I think he's over, back here. He's moved quite a ways away. They have large territories here. That low density would not be conducive to them duking it out on their territory boundaries. So, when we were first on the road with the gray flycatcher, whether they were on their boundaries here, battling, we don't know. But it's tempting to come back tomorrow and find out.

1:03:33 uv
You got fairly close to this one and got . . .

1:03:36 Bill
Just pushed it a little bit too far too fast.

1:03:41 uv
I don't think you could've done anything different. I was just wondering if you wanted to try to walk up to that one and see if you can capture a little different sound quality.

1:03:49 Bill
Now where is he?

1:03:51 uv
He's probably over a hundred yards. He's quite a ways. And with this wind . . . but we have nothing else to do so why don't we just walk and see what else we find.

1:04:10 uv
Well that was great to hear them. The sheep must just destroy this. We can head out to the road. It'll be easier walking.

1:04:46 uv
Is that Greg?

1:04:49 Bill
Yes.

1:04:56 uv
Any hot leads for us?

1:05:00 Greg
There's a lot more gray flycatcher activity. This used to be the center of things but it seems to have shifted a bit. Just a few yards down the road there are four or five birds calling in pretty close proximity.

1:05:10 uv
Yeah, we got a good one down here. Just before the wind came up.

1:05:20 uv
Two chipping sparrows right here. That's nice.

1:05:24 Greg
Once the sun is up the meadows are the things to work, especially the meadows with the willow. Back down the road the road cuts the rest of the meadow, and there's Lincoln sparrow in there, there's house wren's singing. Mcgillery's warbler, a couple of white-headed woodpeckers coming through all the time. That's a nice little spot. In fact that's where we'll have breakfast. If you guys stroll back down there things will be starting to hop. And there's a pylater(?) that calls down there, drums. Towsend solitaire has been coming in and singing.

1:05:59 uv
Are suggesting it would be ok to just start walking now?

1:06:03 Greg
Yeah. And you'll see where the meadow's on the right hand side and the left hand side. It's a small little intimate area, and that's the place where it's really going.

1:06:15 uv
Okay. We'll may as well walk.

1:06:17 Bill
Sure.

1:06:19-1:07:08
Chat about breakfast and other n/a chat

1:07:09 uv
I'm not sure you get the chippy experience here. The real experience, the high density. Very big territories here I think.

1:07:17 Greg
And so how is it differing? They're really not as vocal or as . . .?

1:07:22 uv
If you have four birds together, high density East, and you remove three of them the fourth one doesn't bother to sing. So I think it's a whole density phenomenon. You get these whole different things going on with, what I sense are large territories than compared with and Eastern cemetery. We can talk about that later if you'd like.

1:07:47 Bill
Yeah, I think it'd be great. Maybe we could do some of that sort of stuff at breakfast. If you could just drop a few lines on people, they'd love to learn that sort of thing.

1:07:59 uv
Happy to do whatever you think.

1:08:06 uv
I found the chipping sparrow. We weren't sure where he was. He was right there on the ground.

1:08:25-1:08:41 uv
We hear this very different quality chipping again. May be you can get a little closer to him. The wind's not bad. Just comes in bursts. I think he's a little high in the tree. Why don't I let you go ahead?

1:08:42-1:09:39
ambi -bird

1:09:40-1:10:36 uv
We weren't noisy. But he quit singing too. He was up in threes already. I think he was up here. Here's one of those grays again. He is up high. It's dead out here. It's so quiet. But the gray, there's a gray still kicking a little over here, but non of that dawn intensity. They've said they're alive, they've made it through the night, and their done. And our chipping sparrow is back there on the ground again. They're still going. You hear them over there?

1:10:55 uv
The other chipping sparrow just announced back here.

1:11:00
ambi-bird (the bird's call does not stand out very much in this section)

1:12:56 Bill
So what did we just hear.

1:13:001:13:17 uv
There were two chippies again. Two chippies, cause this other one started singing again, that slow dry rattle. And the faster chippy was back where we had initially encountered him. And then there is a gray flycatcher calling here a little too.

1:13:28-1:14:24 uv
I would love to know these chippies better because things differ between the east and west. Those glaciers did a number on the continent and they just separated the populations east and west. Some species, like marsh wrens that I've spent a few years studying, they're different species, east and west. They field guides haven't caught up with that fact yet, but after working these mid-continent marshes so that there are clearly two species. the western ones are far more exciting than the eastern ones, given how they sing. So I'd love to know these western chippies. Maybe they aren't exactly, they don't behave like the eastern ones. Or maybe it's just a matter of density too.

1:14:28-1:15:01 uv
I think, given that we don't hear that fast buzzy chippy back there, but we do hear them back hear again, it's got to be the same individual with quite a huge territory. Where we encounter them in the east, some of them in the cemetery where the student worked, you could stand in one place and hear five or six birds singing. Some very small territories.

1:15:01-1:15:47
sounds of walking

1:15:47
Recording is stopped. Starts again.

1:16:221:16:49 uv
We may have called that third chipping sparrow too soon. I haven't heard him again. I'm hearing juncos now. Juncos very much like chipping sparrows. They're organized in the same way, one sound repeated over and over again. They're usually more musical. Do you hear this more musical sounding? We can get a little closer. He was right here. Here is a second bird. You hear it's a little more musical.

1:16:50
ambi -birds

1:17:53 uv
The one who was here flew up over us into the woods.

1:18:02-1:18:46 uv
There is a bird singing here that usually doesn't generate too much excitement in people cause it's too common, but it's a song sparrow. Really a fascinating story worked out. My friend up in Seattle has been studying this bird. They have about 8 different songs. If this were early morning he would sing one of his songs maybe five times and within thirty seconds switch to another one. That's also a great time to just sit and listen to these song sparrows. They work through their whole repertoire of about 8 different songs. And they've learn4ed them from their neighbors too, so they share songs.

1:18:46-1:19:57 uv
Some of their songs are their neighbors, but not all of them. So they can talk to their neighbors in interesting ways. If they respond to their neighbor with the exact same song that he is singing, it's a very strong response. If they respond to a neighbor, not with the exact song that he is singing, but with a song that is shared by the two in their repertoire, that's not quite as strong a response. If he responds with a song that is not shared at all by the neighbor, then he's ignoring him. So there are all these layers with which they can talk to each other. It's just phenomenal. But right now he just sang a couple of song while we were listening to the juncos, and that was it. All we hear now is a few weezy calls of a chickadee and the green tailed towhee, a very pretty song down the road.
1:19:58 Bill
It is amazing how few birds songs we're hearing this morning.

1:20:04-1:20:34 uv
yeah, this is not a high density habitat. Not a lot of species. It's pretty dry. You can imagine the insect production is very low. We aren't swatting mosquitoes like we would be in the main woods. There are a few species that you would expect here, but don't expect a tremendous variety.

1:20:38 uv
That weezy chickadee call, I think it must be the mountain chickadee.

1:20:52 Bill
I was interested in something that you said last night. You said going out before sunrise to hear that chorus, that very early chorus, was a very spiritual experience for you. What does that mean?

1:21:13 uv
I'm not sure what means. It means I just got to be there. It means it's irresistible. I just think that's when it all happens, when negotiations for the day are done. The birds battle on their territory boundary. The chipping sparrows, if they come all together, they've settled something in that dawn chorus. Spiritually, we can't put into words very easily, I think, when something just grabs us. Like any form of art it speaks to you in ways that another form of art doesn't. It's the listening to these creatures and knowing all that's going on among them -and we know so little about it. I guess that's also part of it -it's the mystery of it. (this would be a good quote of the pauses and um's and uh's could be taken out)

1:22:31 Bill
Do you think bird song is like an art, like music?

1:22:36 uv
There is an awful lot of interest recently in comparing bird song and music. Patricia Gray, I had a long conversation with recently, she's with -just a robin singing. I thought it might be a western tanager -she' with, some national organization down in Washington, DC, performing . . . in residence

1:23:14 Bill
With the National Science Foundation?

1:23:15-1:23:43 uv
I don't think she's with NSF. National Academy of Sciences, I think. I think that's it. So they're fostering this appreciation of animal sounds as music and exploring the hole relationship between the two. And as I speak there is a song sparrow singing here. Let's see if he sings again.

1:23:44
bird tweeting

1:23:51 uv
Now listen to the next song. Is it the same?

1:23:57
bird tweeting

1:24::01 uv
If you just listen to the introduction imitates birds). With a little luck he'll switch.

1:24:12
(bird tweets)

1:24:16 uv
same one.

1:24:16-1:24:34
bird tweets

1:24:34 uv
I think that was the same a little further away.

1:24:41-1:24:48
ambi -bird tweeting (wind has picked up so the sound is not that good).

1:24:591:25:15 uv
At dawn they'd be rolling through their repertoire very rapidly. Now he'll pause for a little while. Chances are when he comes back it'll be a different song. That's much harder to appreciate the difference unless we hear the comparison back-to-back.

1:25:16-1:26:22 uv
So, bird song and music. You can ask why do birds sing instead of croak or yell or something. This is a question asked by a friend Andy, recently. And others ask, why do these songs strike us as so beautiful? What gives? It's hard to know what the exact answer is, but birds were around as we were developing. Birds had their music before we did. It would not be a bit surprising to me if humans patterned their music after birds. Birds have been around for a hundred million years singing - a hundred a fifty million years precisely, going back to the earliest bird -so birds have been singing in our environment as we humans have evolved. It is entirely possible that we fashioned our music after them.

1:26:22-1:27:38 uv
It's also possible that independently we have come to have some of the same aesthetic tastes. Can bird have aesthetic taste? Well I guess they don't have to think about that taste, but for example, all the males that do the singing, it's probably the females that have decided how they should sing, so that when a female chooses a particular male -if she does so based all on his songs -and if her tastes are at all inherited, and most likely they are, then her daughters will have tastes like her and her sons will tend to sing like the father. So this is perpetuated, it's the females who really are the sculptures of what we hear. They're determining, there is some male-male competition going on too, but my hunch is that most of this is about female choosing males. And if it isn't then, well, it's really the males doing to battle with each other. But still it's really about females; It's all about who leaves the most young to the next generation.

1:27:41-1:28:33 uv
These bird, if these females are choosing, if the females are deciding the males songs, and we enjoy those same songs, somehow we have similar aesthetic tastes. So, do they regard their songs as beautiful too? Do they enjoy singing? It can't be painful. And if you think of song to some extent, as vocal foreplay, then it can't be painful. We vertebrates share much in common with each other. As much as we like to think that we humans are so much above birds, but the more that we learn about these other birds, the more we learn about other animals, the more we learn about ourselves too.

1:28:39-1:28:25 uv
Chipping sparrow here again. All the mating system stuff that's been done to document extra pair fertilization, we see social monogamy among these bird, but there are hidden games being played. If you study the DNA in the nest of most species, you discover that it's not one male that fathered the nest; that the female has games that she's playing. We assume to try to maximize the quality of her offspring. So these chipping sparrows that do battle at dawn -four chipping sparrows singing on the territory boundary -it's possible that females are listening. And even though each male has his female on one territory, she might be traveling to the next territory, is he thinks he is possible a better mate than her own and some of her young would be fathered by that other male. So more and more species where this has been looked at, we find that the females always have these extra strategies to improve themselves. An the males are always on the lookout too for . . . We could be talking about humans here. And then it's no surprise that we go to some hospitals and we find out that in very modern civilization a fair section of the offspring are not really fathered by the father who thinks he's the father.

1:30:27-1:32:21 uv

A friend was telling me about a book that he recently wrote, the myth of monogamy or something to that effect. Ya know, we're socially monogamous, but there's far more that goes on. For years we looked at our birds with these puritanical eyes as if they should be behaving the way we thought we should be behaving. But lo and behold, fifteen years ago this all broke loose where the babies in these nest just were not fathered by the bird who was feeding them. The advent of all these DNA techniques has led to uncovering the real mating strategies of all these species. And that has to part of what's going on at dawn. They have to be somehow negotiating who is who, who is dominant, and even if its dawn only among the males on this territory boundary, somehow this has to translate into who is fathering the young. This student has all the blood from all the babies in the neighborhood too and he knows who sings first and who is the most dominant in these groups, so his next test is to analyze all that blood and find out if he can correlate female choices with how the males were singing at dawn. We're going to be walking right into the sheep aren't we?

1:32:21 Bill

Yeah.1:32:33 uv
We'll have to walk a fair distance to get through them.

1:32:38 Bill
It's funny you think the females are the ones that determine the song in the long run. You always hear the composer has his muse and, of course the muse is always pictured as a female.

1:32:56-1:34:29 uv
Well I don't know much about human behavior, but I think we could say many of the same things about us. Women may complain about male behavior; Females may complain about the males behavior, but in essence we are responsible, over evolutionary time, we are responsible for the behavior of the opposite sex by who has been chosen and who has paired with whom. So if there are philandering males, why are there philandering males. Well, it's partly because of how easy it is to produce sperm and how easy it is to fertilize a female. That's part of it, the asymmetry of how much a female invests in an egg and how much a male has to invest in a sperm. That set-up means that the females have to be very cautious about their investment; far more cautious than the male. But there may be more to it than that. If there were a very strong selection, if females absolutely opposed philandering, that kind of behavior I think would disappear from the population, this is of the record here Bill.

1:34:30 Bill
It sure will be now.

1:34:35
Recording is stopped. Starts again.
1:34:35-1:37:35
ambi -birds (some sound of walking in the first 30 seconds or so. Wind starts to pick up a little bit around 1:37:00, but it is not that bad.)

1:37:36-1:38:35 uv
Very nice. We have to green-tailed towhees singing over here. Just maybe 20 yards apart. I was trying to listen closely to sing if they were singing the same song, see if they were playing any games, but I don't know these birds at all. I need to sit with them a morning and try to understand them a little better. Then this one behind us moved off a little and things kind of de-escalated. And at the same time there was a song sparrow singing here, and he is chirping at us right here, now. He was countersinging with another bird just a little further off. And this mcgillery's warbler was all alone here. It was just a very nice little microcosm of sound here.

1:38:41-1:39:55 uv
And I believe that is one of our brown-headed cowbird friends, sitting as they do, right here in the top of the pine tree. He has a very high gurgling sound. And he starts out with, he has some very low sounds and some very high sounds, that using both voice boxes. These birds have two voice boxes controlled independently, so that he sings these very low voices with one of his voice boxes, these very high sounds with the other, and coordinates the two in a rather marvelous routine. Even the cardinal song, most people are familiar with the cardinal songs, I has this nice sweeping whistle. It sounds like one whistle but it's actually two. The high part of that whistle is produced by on voice box and the low by the other voice box. So it's just this beautiful coordination of the two that produces this nice sweeping whistle from high to low.

1:39:55-1:42:37
ambi -bird (intermittent talking, logged below; clear and loud chirps))

1:40:15 uv
There is something else singing in here too, that I don't recognize.

1:40:24 uv
There is a beautiful song sparrow sitting on there.

1:40:36-1:40:56 uv
No, he sings one. We got to get him on a role so that he'll switch. We could do a play back to him and get him singing but that seems unfair. I think the other bird in here is, sounds like a hooded warbler, brilliant yellow bird with a black cap.

1:41:12 uv
And the MacGillivray's continues.

1:41:56 uv
Up on the hillside over there is a little western tanager. (mimics bird)

1:42:40 uv
It's too distant to pull out. (mimics western tanager again).

1:42:37 uv
What d'ya say we keep walking around, just circle around.

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