Monday, 10 May 2010

Tonight Matthew, I'm going to be a Yellowhammer

This amazing clip shows a Corn Bunting doing a very passable impression of a Yellowhammer, filmed by David Erterius on 9 May in southern Sweden.

David notes that such unusual singing has been recorded Corn Buntings isn't an unknown phenomenon, and BWP has an interesting insight:

"However, there are a number of reports of M. calandra apparently singing song of Emberiza, including Ortolan Bunting E. hortulana (Schumann 1956), but particularly Yellowhammer E. citrinella; such individuals were isolated from other M. calandra, interacted with E. citrinella, and rarely sang M. calandra song (Donovan 1978, Donovan 1984; Richards 1981; Stirrup and Eversham 1984), and situation thus best not described as mimicry, but instead probably exemplifies importance of social interaction in song learning (Pepperberg 1985)."

Thanks to David for posting this clip up and sharing his footage.


alan tilmouth said...

Mark, there is one up here in Northumberland that has been singing like a Yellowhammer for the last three Springs. It may well be the only singing Corn Bunting left in the county.

holdingmoments said...

I'm sure some birds do this just to confuse us even more :)
Great clip.