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In the numerous Shiny Cowbird posts this season, observers reported singing
birds.  While at Fort Desoto on June 6th observing the birds that Lyn
Atherton found, I heard a male Shiny giving a beautiful complex song
reminiscent of the song of an Indigo Bunting or Orchard Oriole.  This was
the predominant vocalization the bird gave along with another song that was
rather similar to the shorter explosive, gurgling song given by Brown-headed
Cowbird.  In Jamarillo and Burke's "New World Blackbirds", the latter
song-type is referred to as the 'primary song' of Shiny Cowbird while the
former (beautifully complex) song is referred to as the 'twitter song' and
is considered a rarer song-type whose social context is unknown.  Jamarillo
and Burke's song descriptions may have come from H.Friedman's 1929
publication The Cowbirds: A Study in the Biology of Social Parasitism.  I
don't have access to that publication.

My question to the list, to those of you who have heard Shiny Cowbird sing
in Florida (or elsewhere), is which song-type were you hearing?

Thanks,
Bill Evans

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