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  1. RE: [LACoBirds] Continuing Brant, Pacific Loon, Willow Flycatcher & more (San Pedro) LINK
    DATE: May 29, 2018, 5 month(s) ago
    Thank you very much, Kimball.
    I did notice that Oriental White-eye recordings are unavailable for
    public access on the site. I was wondering if I should submit a request
    to them, but at the time it seemed unlikely that that particular species
    would be the match. On second thought it's probably worth a try.
    I noticed that "Zosterops sp." is an option on eBird, but the
    vast majority of checklists in Southern California use the "Japanese
    White-eye - Zosterops japonicus" option. And just now, I noticed
    that on eBird, "Zosterops sp." and "white-eye sp. -
    Zosterops sp." are actually different options! Searching for one
    will not show the other.
    You are absolutely right that the Z. j. simplex recordings from
    mainland China on Xeno-Canto sound much more like our White-eyes than the
    others. This may be why I missed this when listening earlier; there are
    only three recordings matching that on the site, out of 123 Japanese
    White-eye recordings and of those, only two actually sounds like ours,
    and the Hutton's Vireo call with which I was most familiar is rather
    low-key in one of those two. - this does sound very similar to
    ours - this also sounds similar to ours,
    but the emphasis in the recording is on a different type of call I'm less
    familiar with hearing from them (but am beginning to notice more) - this sounds much less like
    But of course, this makes me want to know how the determination was made
    that the White-eyes in those locations are Z. j. simplex , since
    they sound different than Z. j. simplex at other
    For comparison, here is a recent recording I made of a White-eye in a
    eucalyptus north-adjacent to the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium:
    FLAC format ( MiB):
    MP3 format ( MiB):
    The clearest calls heard from the White-eye occur at 22 seconds in.
    (Also heard in this 36.6 second audio clip: American Crow
    juvenile (distant); Hooded Oriole calls; Warbling Vireo song; something I
    didn't notice at the time, but sounds like a pet bird; Black Phoebe
    "chip" and "cheer" calls; Bushtit; Yellow Warbler
    call and song; European Starling. If anyone wants me to keep making
    annotation files with timestamps like I did for the Yellow-breasted Chat,
    please let me know.)
    As always, I ask that you please don't use my recordings to trick
    birds to come out into the open, unless there is a very good
    reason for doing so and will not harm/stress the bird(s) or put them at
    They have been making other types of calls as well (like the ones in
    XC325086, I think), but I don't think I've managed to get a good
    recording of those yet.
    Some photos of a White-eye here (frames from video):
    Incidentally, I'd like to make a correction to the previous audio
    recording (Yellow-breasted Chat) I posted from here. In the annotations,
    at 5:25.676 I put "CALT juv LAZB". But it was a YEWA (Yellow
    Warbler). Oddly, it was many years before I learned they make that call,
    but since then I've been hearing it a lot.
    David Ellsworth
    San Pedro, CA
    At 2018-05-29 13:46, Kimball Garrett kgarrett@... [LACoBirds]
    Your questions about the identity of the white-eyes that are increasingly
    well-established in Orange and se. Los Angeles Counties are valid
    ones. Bear in mind that Japanese White-eyes (Zosterops japonicus)
    are geographically quite variable, and I wouldnt doubt that there is
    some geographical variation in vocalizations as well. Our birds seem to
    match most closely Japanese White-eyes from mainland China (Z. j.
    simplex); these are not the ones that are in Japan or established on the
    Hawaiian Islands. But some subspecies of Oriental White-eye (Z.
    palpebrosus) are closely similar in appearance to some Japanese
    White-eyes, and youre correct to have some skepticism regarding the
    species identification of our birds. We hope this can be resolved soon
    we have one specimen here at the Natural History Museum (salvaged from
    Orange County), and our colleagues at the Moore Laboratory of Zoology are
    hoping to have the results of their DNA analysis of that specimen
    soon. If you or anybody run across a dead or moribund white-eye,
    please make certain it gets to us to help document our incipient
    To my ear the calls Ive heard from white-eyes in Orange County and in
    Long Beach seem to match fairly closely some of the calls of Japanese
    White-eye available on Xeno-Canto. Unfortunately, recordings of
    Oriental White-eyes on Xeno-Canto are not available on the web site. As
    Xeno-Canto explains, Some species are under extreme pressure due to
    trapping or harassment. The open availability of high-quality recordings
    of these species can make the problems even worse. For this reason,
    streaming and downloading of these recordings is disabled.
    We have been validating eBird entries of Japanese White-eye from southern
    California in order to establish that as the working hypothesis regarding
    identification. If youre searching for white-eye sightings, search
    on that species but also on Zosterops sp. (white-eye sp.), since many
    observers understandably are only comfortable entering sightings at that
    level of certainty. Bottom line: get recordings, and get
    specimens, and well be able to figure out for certain what we
    Kimball L. Garrett
    Ornithology Collections Manager
    Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
    900 Exposition Blvd.
    Los Angeles, CA 90007 USA
    (213) 763-3368
    [ ] On Behalf Of David Ellsworth
    davidells@... [LACoBirds]
    Sent: Tuesday, May 29, 2018 8:19 AM
    To: LACoBirds
    Subject: Re: [LACoBirds] Continuing Brant, Pacific Loon, Willow
    Flycatcher & more (San Pedro)
    Secondly, I wanted to add that of all the Japanese White-eye audio
    samples on , the only
    ones that actually sounded like ours here were two recordings made in
    Orange County. None of the recordings made in Japan sounded like ours. I
    am inclined to believe that the identification of Japanese White-eye is
    incorrect, and they're in fact some other species of White-eye (or at
    least, a subspecies of Japanese White-eye that is vastly
    under-represented on xeno-canto); the call sounds like an innate call,
    which wouldn't need to be learned, so captive-raised birds should do the
    same calls as wild ones in their native habitat, right
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