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Any ideas what bird is making this song? Unfortunately, this photo was the best I got, but I did get a lot of audio of it's call (the YouTube video has a bunch of them clipped together).

At the end of the video, you can see one of the birds (same kind as the one singing) fly away. In case it's flight gives any hints.

It sounds like it has at least two (maybe three) distinct calls. The one call, you can hear over and over, and was the majority of it's calls. But it also had one where it had 7 or 8 super-quick chirps followed by a high-low, high-low (specific spot in video linked here).

I'm in Northwest Ohio, US if that helps narrow it down.

Video:

YouTube video (with song) of unknown bird.

Photo:

Unknown bird

Rough Sketch Update: I saw it today through binoculars, but still couldn't get close enough / for long enough. I did see that it had some spots or lines on it's stomach (similar to a young bird, but it appears to be an adult). It was lighter brown than I was led to believe from the videos when it was silhouetted last night. It had a dark marking from its eye like a racoon, and white over its eye. It is roughly 50% to 70% smaller than the robins we have around here, which are probably American Robins, as described on this page from the Ohio Division of Wildlife. It appeared to be the size of a chickadee but with a longer tail. Larger than a gold finch.

The only times I've seen this bird, it was on the very top of a pine tree (like in the video). I've not seen it on the ground at all. There was a bird here last year that I never saw that was making a very unique sound. Not sure if it was this kind or not, as I wasn't able to find it and don't remember the song.

Today's look was quick, and I tried to remember as best I could, but again, it was from a distance, so the rough sketch below might not be super accurate. The first time I saw it today, I thought it may have had some orange tint on its stomach, but didn't see it the second time.

Rough sketch

UPDATE 2:

After much googling, it looks very similar to a female rose breasted grosbeak (if not exactly alike). I can't find a song that matches though, so I can't verify if that's what it is.

  • Hi Dave! Thanks for the edit. I've been researching this and keeping it narrowed to black birds. The second YouTube video is a bit closer, but it still looked black. After you added the sketch I searched again. It almost resembles a catbird, but I don't think that's right. Is it the size of a robin, or bigger? Are you seeing it lower in the trees or on the ground, or just up at the top branch? Have you seen it before? I'm wondering if it's native, or flying through. It didn't match the list of native birds of Ohio, but now that it's lighter, I'll check that site again. – Sue Saddest Farewell TGO GL Jul 23 '17 at 17:24
  • Note that your user of Robin is as vague as the use of Blackbird earlier - and American Robins aren't closely related to the others. – Chris H Jul 23 '17 at 18:41
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    @Sue - it is smaller than the robins we have around here. It appeared to be the size of a chickadee but with longer tail. Larger than a gold finch. The only times I've seen it, it was on the verry top of a pine tree (like in the video). I've not seen it on the ground at all. There was a bird here last year that I never saw that was making a very unique sound. Not sure if it was this kind or not, as I wasn't able to find it and don't remember the song. – Dave Jul 23 '17 at 19:43
  • @Sue - roughly 50-70% size compared to the robins we have. Not sure what kind those are though. – Dave Jul 23 '17 at 19:47
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    Dave, I hope you don't mind, but I put the additional descriptive information from your comments right into the question so everyone can see it. I also clarified which robin is in your area, as @ChrisH was correct that my use of the word robin was too vague. – Sue Saddest Farewell TGO GL Jul 25 '17 at 18:30
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Song sparrow? https://youtu.be/wdaE7eaayKM

I am a western birder but that's what it sounds like to me. Out here they are usually found in wetter areas or in riparian habitat.

  • It sounds a bit similar, but not enough that I'd think it's the same bird. – Dave Sep 11 '17 at 16:15
  • A good friend of mine (maybe @BirdNerd is the same person) came up with Song Sparrow as well. – That Idiot Sep 12 '17 at 11:24
  • This is it! I got a better photo this year, and saw the three spots (one on chest, and 2 on each shoulder). Thanks!! – Dave May 11 '18 at 17:55

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