I'm a bird! I'm a bird! I'm a bird!... but what kind?
April 14, 2014 6:11 PM   Subscribe

The birdsong in question! This is a bird in southeast Portland, OR. We've never caught a definite glimpse of it, so I cannot give any details on size/color/et cetera. This is its main song (although it was singing kind of short this day); it cycles this for an hour or more. It varies slightly at some point, but then comes back.
posted by curious nu to Science & Nature (8 answers total)
I'm pretty sure that's a White Crowned Sparrow. It sounds slower than the ones I'm used to here in the Bay Area but they have a ton of "regional dialects" due to a lot of subspecies. Here's one from Oregon specifically, some songs from the Cornell Ornithology page, and the Xeno Canto page of White-crowned sparrow songs.
posted by primalux at 6:37 PM on April 14, 2014 [3 favorites]

Agree with primalux. Caveat: I mostly suck at birding by ear except for raptor calls. But even so, for common birds, I'm pretty okay, and that does sound like a variation on a white-crowned.
posted by rtha at 7:13 PM on April 14, 2014

I grew up with that sound in Montana. There I identified the bird involved as a western meadowlark.

Hey, I had to do a project about them in 3rd grade and give an oral presentation. I'll never forget it. Thanks a lot, Sister Elizabeth Kathleen!
posted by Lynsey at 9:34 AM on April 15, 2014

I'm pretty sure it's a song sparrow. They have a lot of variety to their calls, but they tend to follow certain patterns and have some common sounds they draw on. I spend a lot of time listening to their various calls and your bird definitely fits.

posted by isthmus at 2:16 PM on April 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

The chirping in the middle makes me think it's a sparrow as well.
posted by fiercekitten at 9:42 PM on April 15, 2014

Nthing isthmus. It's a Song Sparrow.
posted by Lycaon_pictus at 7:49 PM on April 16, 2014

I am also not a great "ear birder" and right now am trying to teach myself to be better(though I'm pretty damn good at the visual sort), and I do think that the song sparrow sounds good for an i.d. so I will retract mine and go with isthmus'.
posted by primalux at 11:07 PM on April 16, 2014

Thanks! We will try and catch a glimpse one day to confirm.
posted by curious nu at 5:53 PM on April 17, 2014

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