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The Loquacious Chat

No wonder it's called a "chat!" It may sing all night long!

In summer, the thick tangles of streamside vegetation in many canyons echo with an uncanny sound — the Yellow-breasted Chat. You may find it in willow thickets, brushy tangles, and other dense, understory habitats, usually at low to medium elevations around streams. The male Yellow-breasted Chat may sing all night during breeding season. The chat winters in Mexico and Central America.

Full Transcript

The Loquacious Chat

Written by Bob Sundstrom

This is BirdNote!

[Stream sounds]

In summer, the thick tangles of streamside vegetation in many canyons echo with an uncanny sound. [Song of the Yellow-breasted Chat]

After a long and careful scan of the willow tree tops, your eyes come to rest on the mystery singer: a bird with a bright yellow chest and a green face marked with what look like bold white spectacles. You’ve just spotted a Yellow-breasted Chat. [Song of the Yellow-breasted Chat]

The loquacious chat’s exceedingly varied song is not its only distinctive quality. At seven inches from tip to tail, it dwarfs all the other North American warblers. Keep a sharp eye on it though, because when the chat turns its grayish-green back to you, its image will blend so thoroughly with the leaves you may think you imagined the whole thing. Except that the song keeps coming: [Reprise, song of the Yellow-breasted Chat]

When the northern summer declines, the Yellow-breasted Chat will make its way south to winter in Central America until the springtime draws it north again.

For BirdNote, I’m Michael Stein.


Song of the Yellow-breasted Chat provided by recorded by Martyn Stewart.
Sounds of the stream recorded by C. Peterson in Robinson Canyon
BirdNote’s theme music was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler.
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Dominic Black

© 2015 Tune In to   July 2017   Narrator: Michael Stein

ID#072505YBCHKPLU   YBCH-01c

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