At 10:10 PM 6/26/01 +0000, Bill Pranty wrote:
>Hi Bill,
>An article in "Birding" (32: 514-526, December 2000) that I wrote briefly
>addressed the topic of Shiny Cowbird song in Florida. So far as I could
>determine, all singing heard in Florida -- and apparently in the Southeast
>-- has been of the "twitter song." The Cornell CD of Florida Bird Songs
>includes the primary, or courtship, (gurgle) song and the chatter call, but
>not the "twitter song."
>The male SHCO at the mulberry tree at Fort De Soto in late April 2001 gave
>frequent twitter songs, accompanied by a pointing of the bill skyward and
>with ruffling of the breast feathers. I got the display on video, but the
>song is pretty faint (and marred in places by talking birders and/or
>shrieking Black-hooded Parakeets).
>I'd be interested to hear of anybody who has heard the
>courtship song in Florida.
>Best regards,
>Bill Pranty

I have seen and heard this species (in FL) while the male was displaying to
the female.  The male was hovering over the grounded female while
twittering away.  This was in May.  The "song" was indescribable, but the
notes started out rather low to medium, ending in higher twittering.  I
mention the month of May because Friedman states that the courtship song is
confined to the male from September until December.  Also that there is
variation and omission of notes later in the season.  Of course this was
way before the invasion of the USA.  In fact he gives a lengthy report on
the vocalizations of SHCO in THE COWBIRDS.

The twittering notes of the two species mentioned are hard for me to tell
apart with these old ears, but the Shiny's (males at least) emit
distinctive notes that sound like "sweet-sweeit" to me, the last note
higher and drawn out.

Jack Dozier
Alligator Pt., FL
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