Yellow-billed/Black-billed Cuckoo, Blue-winged/Golden-winged Warbler  

 Jason Miller

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



Topic starter Posted : 02/06/2021 12:56 pm

Hi Jason,


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.).


Posted : 02/06/2021 2:38 pm

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