Ornithological Note 389

Notes on the vocalizations of Blue-backed Conebill (Conirostrum sitticolor)

Peter F. D. Boesman July 29, 2016
Section(s): Voice, Systematics

In the following we briefly analyze and compare voice of the different races of Blue-backed Conebill (Conirostrum sitticolor). We also try to quantify the extent of any vocal differences using the criteria proposed by Tobias et al. (2010), as a support for taxonomic review. We have made use of sound recordings available on-line from Xeno Canto (XC).

Our main interest is to compare voice of the distinctive race cyaneum from the Andes of Peru and Bolivia with the other races (illustrated with sonograms in the pdf version of this note):

Peru (cyaneum): Dawn song is a long series of two or three alternating high-pitched notes notes, given at a steady pace. Day-time song is a fast tinkling phrase which is repeated without any pause for a long period. Also shorter variants lacking a clear repetitive pattern.

Ecuador: Both dawn song and day-time song are structurally the same as in cyaneum.

There are no obvious vocal differences, with basic sound parameters very similar or identical. A larger set of recordings would be required to establish whether certain notes or phrases are unique to certain races, but in any case, this will not lead to a large vocal score. 

This note was finalized on 29th June 2016, using sound recordings available on-line at that moment. We would like to thank in particular the sound recordists who placed their recordings for this species on XC: Peter Boesman, Paul Coopmans, Oswaldo Cortes, David Geale, Niels Krabbe, Mitch Leisinger, Gabriel Leite, Bernabe Lopez-Lanus, John V Moore, Scott Olmstead, Bob Planqué and Andrew Spencer.



Tobias, J.A., Seddon, N., Spottiswoode, C.N., Pilgrim, J.D., Fishpool, L.D.C. & Collar, N.J. (2010). Quantitative criteria for species delimitation. Ibis 152(4): 724–746.

More Information: on389_blue-backed_conebill.pdf 

Recommended Citation

Boesman, P. (2016). Notes on the vocalizations of Blue-backed Conebill (Conirostrum sitticolor). HBW Alive Ornithological Note 389. In: Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow-on.100389
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