Yellow-billed/Black-billed Cuckoo, Blue-winged/Golden-winged Warbler
Is the recommendation still to record any "heard only" cuckoos as "Yellow-billed/Black-billed Cuckoo"? I've heard Black-billed cuckoo at several spots in my square (Hamilton region east of Binbrook) and as far as I know yellow-billed cuckoo would be rare or uncommon at least, but so far zero luck in seeing the birds
Similar question for Blue-winged and Golden-winged warbler, heard the BWWA song in my square where GWWA is not expected to breed, but was again unable to get a visual.
My recollection from Atlas 2 was to use the "Yellow-billed/Black-billed Cuckoo" and "Blue-winged/Golden-winged Warbler" when not visually confirmed. Same for Downy/Hairy woodpecker. just wondering if that is the same advice still 15 years later
Yes, and in fact we have some really in depth articles coming very soon on both of these identification issues (plus a couple more). Watch for them in the "Atlassing Articles" section. Until then:
Cuckoos: if you're comfortable separating the two species by voice, then you can report to species-level. You must be aware of the overlap in their vocalizations (the article covers this). If in doubt, please use the "slash" option.
Golden-winged/Blue-winged Warbler: Heard-only birds should recorded as the "slash" option because hybrids and even "visually pure" individuals can learn the "wrong" song.
Downy/Hairy Woodpecker: we don't have an article on this species pair in the works, but like any other species, if you are not confident in the specific identity of a bird, please report it to the level you are sure about (e.g. woodpecker sp.).