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Lesser/Chinese Shortwing Song ID, Guangxi, China (1 Viewer)


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This bird was heard in Dec 2021 in Baise, Guangxi, China, elevation of about 200m. I've narrowed it down to what I believe is a shortwing, but listening to a few songs of each species online, I was uncertain whether it is Lesser Shortwing (probably more likely based on the numbers or reports in the area) or Chinese or Himalayan Shortwing. Lesser seems most likely, but I was uncertain of any diagnostic differences in the songs.

The bird was not seen, so just going on song here.

Thanks for any ID tips.



  • Shortwing, Liutang Reservoir, December 11, 2021.mp3
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This sounds a really good match for Lesser Shortwing to my ears Mike XC307318 Lesser Shortwing (Brachypteryx leucophris)

Thanks Grahame. I agree that is a good match for my recording!
I had listened to this recording on eBird of Himalayan Shortwing and thought it was fairly similar: Himalayan Shortwing Macaulay Library ML335924531
I think that Himalayan’s range is mostly west of Guangxi, but I suspect that may not be entirely clear given the recent split and how records would have been reported before as White-browed Shortwing.

Anyway, think I’ll go with the more likely Lesser Shortwing for this ID.
As Grahme says, Lesser Shortwing, the opening notes are the giveaway. On wintering ground they, and other shortwings, tend to do a few additional, quiet rambling notes that differ from their territorial songs on the breeding grounds.
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