Numerous Kent-like Calls Recorded on March 11 and 15, 2017Posted: March 18, 2017
Kudos to Phil Vanbergen for being the first to point out these calls and for having the presence of mind to capture them initially and to capture so many on Wednesday. He’s back in the field today and perhaps tomorrow. Steve Pagans will be in the area this weekend as well.
Update: March 18, Phil reports there were no suspicious sounds in the area this morning.
This post will be heavy on media and short on commentary. My usual trip report and additional discussion of this and other new developments will follow within a week or so.
On the afternoon of Saturday, March 11, Matt Courtman (an outstanding, lifetime birder) Phil, and I were in the search area, and Phil called our attention to some kent-like calls. He was able to capture two of them on his handheld recorder. I’m posting both an excerpt that highlights the calls and the entire clip to provide more context and show our reactions, including my talking over the second one.
It is much easier to hear the calls through headphones or ear buds, but some of them are even audible through an iPhone.
On the morning of March 12, Steve Pagans, Matt, and I heard possible calls and knocks at the same location.
Phil recorded the following clips on the morning of March 15, again at the same location. Matt was present and may have additional recorded sounds. If so, they’ll be included in a follow-up post. The first group of clips contains extracted highlights, including one possible single knock in reaction to an ADK. Next are the unedited originals, containing additional calls. The calls began at around 7:20 am and continued until late morning.
Some additional comments:
A few of the calls Phil recorded are higher pitched and seem to resemble the ones I captured in March 2013. These are harder to hear. Edited to add: On review, these higher pitched sounds appear to be tree squeaks; I’m confident that the March 2013 calls were not.
For those who want to run sonograms, I’d suggest the best comparison would be to Cornell’s recorded playback of the Singer Tract calls at 145 yards.
Edited to add: Here are two sonograms I’ve been able to pull using free sonogram software. I’m no expert on bioacoustics or sonogram analysis, but these appear to be strikingly similar to the Singer Tract recordings in terms of fundamental frequencies and harmonic structure, with the second harmonic stronger than the first. The calls are at just before 5 seconds in the first image (from the Saturday), and before 2, 3, and 4 seconds in the second.
For those who want to compare the clips with the Singer Tract recordings and are unfamiliar with them, you can hear them all here.
And here are the full clips for the hardcore among you.