antonia brico and frank thompson
But a few things about this recording are strange: Because the sound came from the ground, Andrew surmised that he might have recorded some kind of mammal. If there is a mammal in California that sounds like this, then I want to know about it. On 12 January 2009, my friend Andrew Spencer recorded an unseen creature on Chews Ridge in Monterey County, California: To my ear this sounds like a Northern Pygmy-Owl (sensu stricto: Glaucidium gnoma californicum), and the spectrogram shows many of the characteristics of that species. Gannon, William L. Special Publication the Museum of Southwestern Biology. In addition to the “chip” calls that are the most common form of alarm note in all ten chipmunk species in California, Brand mentions a “chuck” call that matches our mystery sound: Chucks were lower pitched than chips, with their fundamental frequency between 0.5 and 2.0 kHz. It's normal behavior when they see and bird etc. Nonetheless, the evidence points to this being the “chuck” call of Least Chipmunk. Are they not even pygmy-owls at all? House Wrens occur all the way through the Americas to southern Argentina. I don’t know how many species of chipmunk Brand reviewed, but there are 25 species in North America. Still have questions? She wants those birds. Don Roberson of Creagrus fame sent me an interesting and provocative email in response to the old pygmy-owl vs. chipmunk thread (1 2). So, those of you who know something about chipmunk vocalizations, this one’s for you: has anyone heard a sound like this from a Least Chipmunk? How good is my tentative ID? Xeno-Canto, the Macaulay Library and the Borror Lab, between them, have nine recordings of the primary song of Northern Pygmy-Owl, from California, Oregon, Montana, Colorado and Utah. I love to watch his little whiskers quiver. The bird on Doug’s recording is even higher-pitched and faster than the one on Andrew’s. It,s normal. They usually do it at birds or at every other animal they want to chase. They sound so cute. When it comes to backyard bird identification, a lot of people will rush off to find their field guide as soon as they see a bird that that they don’t immediately recognise. You can sign in to vote the answer. I had two cats before I got as adults neither made the sound so when i got a kitten a couple years ago I didnt know what it was I thought kitteh had something in her throat or loose teeth LOL. and southwest Quebec. actually has two species, Least and Eastern: If I had been paying attention, I could have identified the little guy to species by looking at his size, shape, and facial striping — but I wasn’t paying attention, so now, alas, I have to use the recording to figure out which ‘munk was chipping. Forages fairly low in tree branches and shrubs, eating mainly insects and spiders. I live in Monterey County and probably know the spot better than any other birder. The “chuck” call of Eastern Chipmunk has been well studied, and I’ve heard a couple of recordings of it (e.g.. Chipmunks particularly enjoy sunflower seeds so try picking those for your birdfeeder. The description is a pretty good match for the pygmy-owl-like sound, but I think the real clincher is Brand’s spectrogram of the “chuck” call: I fiddled with the axes on the spectrogram of Andrew’s recording to make the two as comparable as possible, and although there are slight differences, the similarities are striking, right down to the faint third voice in between the fundamental and the first harmonic. In much of its range it is common, and in many places it is the only chipmunk. Nests in tree cavities and birdhouses, where it is a strong competitor for nest sites and may evict larger birds to claim the spot for its own. The best evidence came from a 1976 paper by Leonard Brand in the journal Animal Behaviour: “The vocal repertoire of chipmunks (Genus Eutamias) in California” (email me for a PDF copy). Together, these two recordings represent quite a departure from what I’ve come to think of as the “typical” song of californicum. Bait the trap so that chipmunks can't retrieve it from outside the trap. They're so excited. I was particularly struck by Rich Hoyer’s understanding of a stepwise slowing trend in pygmy-owl song rates as you move counterclockwise from Mexico to Colorado to California to Baja California Sur. In addition to the comments on my recent pygmy-owl post, I got five private emails, all of which also implicated Merriam’s Chipmunk as the likely source of the pygmy-owl-like sound. Birds from Dominica are a uniform rich reddish brown. Systematic revision of three Townsend’s Chipmunks (Eutamias townsendii). Get your answers by asking now. With his permission, I’m reproducing it here for discussion: A possible word of caution regarding analysis of chipmunk calls as discussed at http://earbirding.com/blog/archives/454: I don’t necessarily disagree with your conclusions, but there are caveats to be considered. And there’s the rub. Stokes Field Guide to Bird Song, Eastern Region, by Lang Elliot. Locations undercover are better than exposed areas. She is chirping. If it is Merriam’s Chipmunk, that is very interesting, because it can be given in a steady and prolonged series that I haven’t attributed to chipmunks. Individuals in the Caribbean and South America tend to be warmer colored and have somewhat different voices. Eastern Chipmunk is not closely related to other North American chipmunks. I have cautioned many times about claims of pygmy-owl there because of this note. Almost all of the energy is concentrated in the fundamental, but a couple of faint harmonics are visible, which is standard for pygmy-owls. Now, the 4-way split is universally accepted. Reasons: The Least Chipmunk is the most widespread chipmunk species in North America, occurring throughout much of the Rocky Mountain and Great Basin regions, plus the boreal forest from the Yukon to the U.P. How do you think about the answers? In doing Breeding Bird Atlasing there and other similar habitats in the Santa Lucia Mts., there have been circumstances when a Mt. It has been a while since I’ve read them, and I don’t recall whether he went into “chips” versus “chuks” but a full background in the vocal differences between the for “Townsend’s” types is important before drawing generalizations from Brand’s 1976 paper. Here’s their standard song: In addition to the typical song with the irregular rhythm, “Mountain” Pygmy-Owls apparently sometimes give a faster, stricter song that is very similar to the song of the Northern Saw-Whet Owl (so similar, in fact, that I suspect the two may represent a vastly underrated ID problem). 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