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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Bird Talk 
Thread started 22 Apr 2013 (Monday) 10:19
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Using Bird Calls

 
mileslong24
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Apr 22, 2013 10:19 |  #1

So I have the iBird app on my phone and iPad and got a little curious one day. A while back I reorded a Cooper's hawk making a call and realized that's its dead on to the audio sample from the app. So the other day a coopers flew overhead and off toward the woods adjacent to my property. For the hell of it I pulled out my phone and played the sample from the app as loud as I could. I'll be damned if only a minute later the hawk flew right back and perched on a tree right next to my house. I slowly approached it playing the call, only to have it returned right back to me. We went back and forth for about 15 minutes, as I'm snappin away right underneath it. I was shocked as every other encounter I've had with them is very short with them flying off the minute I get close for anything decent. Since this has happened it's worked 3 other times, all of which it let me get right under its perch and didn't care. Just curious if anyone else has tried this with success. My only concern is the call is labeled as an alarm call and if that's true I'm wondering if its stressing the hawk out. Only once has it flown off with me approaching so it doesn't seemed stressed but rather curious. The one day I ended getting 3 to come right over my house, 2 of them flying together. If my neighbors didn't already think I'm a nut, they do now!




  
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jhayesvw
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Apr 22, 2013 16:41 |  #2

Been there, Done that!
It works like a charm for some birds.
I like it for little birds that wont come out of the thick trees.
I only play it once or twice to get them out and get the shot.

I dont think its harmful for the birds if you dont play it much.
Others will surely disagree as the baiting argument goes too.

Enjoy. I will continue to use it as needed for birds that are stuck in thick trees.



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AZGeorge
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Apr 22, 2013 21:58 |  #3

I too see no problem with limited use of calls, especially in one's home territory but do avoid using them in heavily birded public areas.


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hollis_f
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Apr 23, 2013 03:56 |  #4

mileslong24 wrote in post #15854652 (external link)
My only concern is the call is labeled as an alarm call and if that's true I'm wondering if its stressing the hawk out.

Of course it is. The bird is trying to get on with the important things - find food, find a mate, produce young - but you're forcing it to waste time and energy on investigating an intruder that doesn't exist. Would you like it if somebody kept setting off your alarm system?


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Muteki
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Apr 23, 2013 10:59 |  #5

I've done it as long as it's limited number of times, especially during breeding/nesting season.


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Tom ­ Reichner
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Apr 24, 2013 17:44 |  #6

These playback calls work extremely well for many species. I am not technologically proficient enough to figure out how to use my iPod, so I don't use the calls. But I have some friends who use the iPod calls regularly, and can attest to the fact that they work great . . . even better than great, in fact.


"Your" and "you're" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"They're", "their", and "there" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"Fare" and "fair" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one. The proper expression is "moot point", NOT "mute point".

  
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scrumpy
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Apr 28, 2013 15:21 |  #7

hollis_f wrote in post #15857576 (external link)
Of course it is. The bird is trying to get on with the important things - find food, find a mate, produce young - but you're forcing it to waste time and energy on investigating an intruder that doesn't exist. Would you like it if somebody kept setting off your alarm system?

Totally agree; and during the the breeding season, a crime.


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bigcountry
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May 01, 2013 22:06 |  #8

Bird Calls: Another controversial method that is used by some photographers (and birders). It's probably best to use this method sparingly and away from large groups of people, as people/photographers tend to overdue things. Article about using bird calls:

http://www.sibleyguide​s.com …e-of-playback-in-birding/ (external link)


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Tom ­ Reichner
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May 02, 2013 14:43 |  #9

scrumpy wrote in post #15876217 (external link)
Totally agree; and during the the breeding season, a crime.

Hmmm. Today, while up in the mountains, I heard a Blue Grouse. It is currently their mating season.

This grouse was making his very low-pitched, "WHOO, WHOO . . . who . . who . . who who". I couldn't see him because the vegetation was thick. I really wanted to photograph him, so I answered back in my own voice, with my hands cupped tightly in front of my mouth, imitating his call. He answered back. Repeat 5 or 6 times, and finally, he emerges from the thick spruce trees, looking for the "other male grouse". I got a few nice shots that I had wanted very much. Once he saw that I was not a grouse, he turned and wandered back into the brush from whence he had come.

Would you also consider this "a crime"? If we can't even use our own voice to bring a bird out of the brush for a moment or two, then I say that the birding community is too uptight. And I would be right :)


"Your" and "you're" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"They're", "their", and "there" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"Fare" and "fair" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one. The proper expression is "moot point", NOT "mute point".

  
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hollis_f
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May 02, 2013 15:58 |  #10

Well Tom, I guess there are several things about your experience that are different from the original posting. You were responding to a call that you recognised and knew well enough to imitate with your own voice. Just that would, I'd guess, make it a lot less likely that you'd be able to maintain the Imitation for a long period.

In my view that's a totally different scenario than that of somebody looking up 'Blue Grouse' on their iPhone and repeating the electronic rendition of the call over and over again. Any idiot could do the one, only a birder, presumably somebody who cares about the birds, could do the other.


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Tom ­ Reichner
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May 02, 2013 17:14 |  #11

^ ^ ^
Thanks for that, Frank! I felt that what I did was ok - I am glad to see that someone else feels likewise.


"Your" and "you're" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"They're", "their", and "there" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"Fare" and "fair" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one. The proper expression is "moot point", NOT "mute point".

  
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mileslong24
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May 02, 2013 20:33 as a reply to  @ Tom Reichner's post |  #12

Guess I'm an idiot and a criminal. Listen, I posted this because I was concerned that what I did may be considered stressful to the bird. I probably used the call 20 times total over 3 separate occasions. Each time the call plays it lasts for about 4-10 seconds depending on how long I let it go. Since I posted this I haven't used it. Multiple coopers visit my area daily and have continued to do so since. Appreciate everyone who contributed in a positive way to the conversation.




  
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jhayesvw
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May 04, 2013 11:28 as a reply to  @ mileslong24's post |  #13

imitating with your mouth or with a phone is essentially the same thing and has the same effect. They both get the bird to come or respond to you. They both COULD irritate the bird or neither could do anything.

Almost everyone will agree that if you just play a call for 10-20 seconds it will not be bad for the bird you are hoping to get a glimpse of.
Heck I have just done a "lip squeak" (its a kissing noise) and gotten lots of birds, coyote, bobcat, etc to come. Its a hunting "trick".
Animals/birds are inquisitive and come to noises. Birds will come more often to the right noise though.
Just be intelligent about the use of the calls and there should be no issue.



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Elfstop
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May 11, 2013 10:22 |  #14

Tom Reichner wrote in post #15891089 (external link)
Hmmm. Today, while up in the mountains, I heard a Blue Grouse. It is currently their mating season.

This grouse was making his very low-pitched, "WHOO, WHOO . . . who . . who . . who who". I couldn't see him because the vegetation was thick. I really wanted to photograph him, so I answered back in my own voice, with my hands cupped tightly in front of my mouth, imitating his call. He answered back. Repeat 5 or 6 times, and finally, he emerges from the thick spruce trees, looking for the "other male grouse". I got a few nice shots that I had wanted very much. Once he saw that I was not a grouse, he turned and wandered back into the brush from whence he had come.

Would you also consider this "a crime"? If we can't even use our own voice to bring a bird out of the brush for a moment or two, then I say that the birding community is too uptight. And I would be right :)

I have to agree Tom...luring a bird with a call or your own voice is the same as putting out feeder to lure them. And I bet no one ever checks to see the "home boundaries" of the birds before they do...I know I don't. Saying it's a crime is quite silly and too anal is what comes to mind not uptight. Btw it has not been researched enough to even say which is worse on birds...birders or electronic calls. Opinions vary.




  
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jhayesvw
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May 12, 2013 16:04 as a reply to  @ Elfstop's post |  #15

Technically even going into nature and looking at the birds could disturb them.
So I guess it becomes a matter of how far is too far?
Each situation is different.



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Using Bird Calls
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