Grasshopper Sparrow Migration!

Grasshopper Sparrow NFC

It’s the time of year when we are all thinking warbler migration. But before warblers are peaking sparrows are migrating through. Often more secretive, and not as brightly colored as the much anticipated warblers, some get overlooked… OK, not by everyone :).

Over the last several days in Somerset County, PA large numbers of Grasshopper Sparrows have been moving through. During nocturnal migration I went out this week to listen and record the overflight. To my pleasant surprise, Grasshopper Sparrows were more common than I normally hear at night. Below is a picture of a spectrogram from one that flew over. The Grasshopper Sparrow flight-call is a high slightly rising call you can see in the center, usually starting around 7.5-8kHz and rising about 0.5 to 1kHz. The call just after it is a Black-billed Cuckoo. Both recorded using a nocturnal plate iPhone microphone in Somerset, PA. Click on the photo below to play the clip.

Grasshopper Sparrow NFC

Grasshopper Sparrow and Black-billed Cuckoo nocturnal flight call, Somerset Pennsylvania.

Several were calling in the fields around our house in the morning. I digiscoped this short video below of one in our front field.It was neat to watch him singing away. The audio was also recorded on my iPhone using a different rig, a small plate reflector that’s on my digiscope rig.