I spent an hour this morning walking the area where I heard the "haunting 
call."  I heard/saw 23 species (mostly heard), including three 
mimids--mockingbird, brown thrasher, and starling.  Nothing I heard sounded 
like what I heard on Thursday afternoon.  So, unless I hear the call again 
and can track it down, here's my best guess.  The voice quality was richer, 
but the call pattern was very similar to the second option in the Audubon 
Birds app's Voice options for Sora.  Also, there's a small creek winding 
through the low area that I was unaware of but found this morning.  My best 
guess is that one of the mimids learned the Sora call at some point, maybe 
even right there in the neighborhood during migration.  And I heard him 
practice it last Thursday.  Or maybe that's completely wrong.

(Or one of them wandered out to Arizona and learned the Canyon Wren call. 

If I ever solve the riddle, I'll let you know, but the Sora/mimid 
speculation is where I'm leaving it until then.  Thank you for all your 
input! It's frustrating to wonder with no clear answer, but it's still 
birding and thus still fascinating.

Ida Domazlicky
Cape Girardeau County

>Finding this "Haunting call" thread fascinating!

I do remember one bird walk at Forest Park when the best ears on the
walk  followed a strange and intriguing call for a while before we all
saw the Mockingbird!

Bob Bailey, and others who kept me in pratice  with birding by ear
even while I was in the US...I thank you every time I go birding here
in India...and do as much birding by ear as by eye.

Cheers, Deepa-from-Bangalore, India.

On Sun, Jul 2, 2017 at 7:59 AM, Ida <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Allen, we’ve had nesting orioles and summer tanagers at home for decades,
> and I’ve never heard one do anything like the “haunting call.”  In fact, 
> one
> of the most mystifying things to me is that it WAS repeated exactly the 
> same
> several times, with no other call variations in between, which I hear with
> tanagers.  (I think Bill’s suggestion of a mockingbird appeals to me 
> because
> maybe a mockingbird learned a standard call somewhere else, from an 
> unknown
> bird, and brought it here.  The call was that strange to me, and I know 
> most
> local calls.) And the orioles I’ve heard always have a cheerful, piping 
> sort
> of sound, although they do repeat a cpattern in this same way.  That said,
> orioles would be possible at that site.  I plan to be there tomorrow and
> will listen for it and maybe search a little.
> Scott, I know the call you mean from the bobwhites and listened to it 
> again,
> but that wasn’t this one. A bit of the same emotion, though, perhaps?
> Linda, get that piano tuned!
> I hope to get back to you with an answer.
> Ida Domazlicky
> Cape Girardeau County
> On Thu, Jun 29, 2017 at 5:15 PM, Ida <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> I know calls are hard when not heard, but this one was very
>> straightforward and exactly the same each time.  On a musical scale, it 
>> was
>> like this: A flat 3 times, G 3x, F sharp 3x, F 3x.  Due to the minor 
>> third,
>> it had a melancholy feel to it.  The notes were at a speed of about
>> 2/second.  The voice quality was good, clear, and had no trills or 
>> buzzes—a
>> bit like a white-throated sparrow or white-crowned, but lower by about an
>> octave.  It was a haunting call.
>> The site was as I was waiting for my ride at the Cape Girardeau Lutheran
>> Home about 3:30 p.m.  It came from behind the duplexes to the south at 
>> the
>> entrance to the campus, just off Bloomfield Road.  This is an area of 
>> small
>> lawns with tall trees behind them (bald cypress, maybe) and a lawn and 
>> then
>> concrete behind that.  Of course, the bird quit singing when I walked 
>> over
>> there, or I would have recorded it.
>> I’m hoping this sounds familiar to someone.  Thanks!
>> Ida Domazlicky
>> Cape Girardeau County
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