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Recording Cerulean Warblers with Charlotte Goedsche

Looking for clues to reverse the decline

Since 1998, Charlotte Goedsche has been studying the Cerulean Warblers that breed in the mountains near Asheville, North Carolina. And she has learned some fascinating things! For example, Charlotte can identify individual Cerulean Warbler males like this one, by listening to their songs. She hopes that her findings will help explain why the number of Cerulean Warblers has declined by 70% during the past 50 years. “The fact that they are declining dramatically makes it even more important to understand their habitat requirements,” Charlotte explains.

Full Transcript

Transcript: 

BirdNote®

Recording Cerulean Warblers 

With Charlotte Goedsche

Written by Todd Peterson

This is BirdNote.

[Song of Cerulean Warbler 168301]

How do you make known something as wild and fleeting as Cerulean Warblers?  

You start, by going out every morning for months, as Charlotte Goedsche [GET-cha] does, to record their songs and share them with others.   

[Song of Cerulean Warbler 168301]

Since 1998 Charlotte’s been studying the Cerulean Warblers that breed in the mountains near Asheville,* North Carolina. Beginning in April the warblers migrate here from South America. But over the past 50 years their numbers have declined by about 70%. The more we learn about them the better we can understand why. To help, Charlotte began recording the singing of breeding males. [Song of Cerulean Warbler 85100] [She’s probably the only person who has data on their songs there beyond two or three years.]

“Then I learned that Cerulean Warbler males can be told apart, individually, by their songs, so I started recording them…. And it’s absolutely fascinating because I can distinguish almost always the different males and can even tell when I have a bird up there who has returned from the previous year! [Song of Cerulean Warbler 85100] And the fact that they are declining dramatically makes it even more important to understand their habitat requirements.”

Charlotte provides her findings to the National Park Service and to North Carolina Audubon.

“I think people all over the United States can get more active in conserving birds of all kinds by working with their Audubon Societies.”  

[Song of Cerulean Warbler 73974]

Charlotte uses software called Raven to analyze the birds’ songs. You can see some of her samples at our website birdnote.org.  

###

Bird sounds provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York.  Song of Cerulean Warbler [168301] recorded by W.L. Hershberger; song of Cerulean Warbler [85100] recorded by W.L. Hershberger; and song of Cerulean Warbler [73974] recorded by G.A. Keller. 

BirdNote’s theme music was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler.

Producer: John Kessler

Executive Producer: Chris Peterson

© 2014 Tune In to Nature.org    January 2014   Narrator: Michael Stein Marantz V Tracks 383 & 400

ID# CERW-01-2014-01-16 CERW-01          

http://ncaudubonblog.org/2012/04/cerulean-warblers-return-to-bull-creek-...

Cerulean Warbler Atlas Project http://www.birds.cornell.edu/cewap/

Blue Ridge Parkway http://www.blueridgeparkway.org/

Audubon North Carolina http://nc.audubon.org/

Elisha Mitchell Audubon Society http://emasnc.org/

Sights & Sounds

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