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SF Bay Area California - Chickadee with whistled song (1 Viewer)


New member
I'm in the lower hills of Oakland, California. On several occasions in the last week (mid-Oct 2014) I have heard the descending two-tone "fey-beyee" (sweee-tie) of a chickadee of some kind. However, in the Sibley Guide, the only chickadee I see with a range overlapping the San Francisco Bay area is the chestnut-backed chickadee, which Sibley says "lacks whistled song". The black-capped chickadees' range ends at the top of California. The mountain chickadee is listed by Sibley with a green dot on the Bay Area, a "rare sighting". Other chickadees ranges are very distant.

Comparing to the sounds at:


in my very non-expert opinion what I am hearing sounds the most like the "typical song" with two notes, not the Oregon songs on the last link or "typical song" of the mountain chickadee on http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Mountain_Chickadee/sounds

both of which have more notes. There might be a lilt in the first note, not 100% sure.

Is there anything else I might be confusing it with? If not, is it worth me trying to record it to report a rare sighting?


Well-known member
Any chickadee in Oakland other than Chestnut-backed would be a significant find - worth getting a recording or, better, a photo.


Well-known member
Are you sure it isn't a Black Phoebe? I might be misinterpreting your description of the vocalization, but that's what first came to my mind.


New member
Here's a recording. Sorry only got one instance, but I hear about two or three of these songs mid-morning and in the evening, spaced out by maybe 45 seconds to a minute -- so I heard the first one and then dashed out the door to record the second. Maybe slight variations in pacing or lilt, but never distinct subsequent notes. It does have the tonality of a golden-crowned sparrow, although all the recordings of them online seem to be more intricate.


  • Birdsong%20Oakland%2010-27-2014.mp3
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