[Tweeters] RE: Can it be Spring?

Michael Hobbs birdmarymoor at verizon.net
Thu Jan 8 20:27:35 PST 2009

In Washington State, I have noted the following species sing in the first 2 weeks of January:

Black-capped Chickadee
Brown Creeper
Bewick's Wren (including today)
Marsh Wren
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Song Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
Red-winged Blackbird

Several other species have been noted singing later in the month, and I've noted pretty much all of the same species singing in December (including before the solstice)

In fact, I've noted Bewick's Wrens singing at all seasons EXCEPT October thru mid-November. Song Sparrows seem to take a break only during the month of August. American Robins, in contrast, don't seem to sing between early-July and mid-December.

I've been keeping notes on songs for about the last 4 years (and this is the first chance I've had to actually query the data :)

== Michael Hobbs
== Kirkland, WA
== http://www.marymoor.org/birding.htm
== http://www.marymoor.org/BirdBlog.htm
== birdmarymoor at verizon.net
----- Original Message -----
From: Brendan McGarry
Cc: hjnoble at igc.org ; tweeters at u.washington.edu
Sent: Thursday, January 08, 2009 6:51 PM
Subject: Re: [Tweeters] RE: Can it be Spring?

I am under the impression that Wrens in general sing quite a bit earlier than other resident birds based on experiences. Bewick's and Winter Wrens are the birds I start to hear first every year (Winter Wrens really seem to sing year-round) followed shortly by Song Sparrows (which occasionally sing all year round). I heard a both species singing on the Seattle CBC.
Birds typically sing to establish territory (and in turn attract mates) and possibly/probably, though I am just speaking off the cuff, these birds just need to start earlier to be successful mates. Elevated levels of testosterone can promote singing as well. I don't necessarily think spring and singing are completely correlated in resident birds the way that they are with neo-tropical and altitudinal migrants. Owls are moving into their season as we speak - I believe most larger owls fledge in early to mid spring. Anyway....

-Brendan McGarry

On Thu, Jan 8, 2009 at 4:41 PM, RUPERT GROVE <rupertgrove at msn.com> wrote:

Just yesterday I noticed both a Bewick's Wren singing in he bush in front of my house and juncos trilling. My first thought was the big temperature swing we have had from low 30s last week to low 50s this week. Sure doesn't seem like spring yet.

Rupert Grove

> Date: Thu, 8 Jan 2009 16:50:19 -0500
> From: hjnoble at igc.org
> To: tweeters at u.washington.edu
> Subject: [Tweeters] Can it be Spring?

> Here in Maple Leaf the Bewick's Wrens are singing and the
> Northern Flickers are hammering on the light posts. How
> sensitive they must be to the barely lengthening days--just
> 13 more daylight minutes since the solstice.
> Henry Noble
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