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Cetti's Warbler

A secretive singer
© Steve Childs CC View Large

It took centuries to match the Cetti’s Warbler, a secretive singer, to its disembodied song. In 1819 Italian naturalist Alberto della Marmora was walking along the River Var, in France, when he heard a song he thought he recognized. One well-aimed shotgun blast later, and he knew for sure. He named the bird the Cetti’s Warbler, in honor of naturalist Francesco Cetti, who had guessed the bird correctly, forty years earlier.
Support for BirdNote comes from Song Bird Coffee, offering bird-friendly organic shade-grown coffees for over 20 years. Learn more at birdnote.org/songbird.

Full Transcript

Transcript: 

BirdNote®

Cetti’s Warbler - A History of a Mystery

Written by Rick Wright

This is BirdNote.
[Cetti’s Warbler (86199) 00:09]
The best way to learn a new bird song is to track it down and see the singer.
[Cetti’s Warbler (86171) 00:10]
Sometimes, that’s easier said than done. Birds can be notoriously difficult to spot, no matter how loud they are.
[Cetti’s Warbler (86145) 00:07]
In the case of the Cetti’s {CHETTy’s} Warbler, it took centuries to match the secretive singer to its disembodied song.
[Cetti’s Warbler (86199)]
The ancient Greeks knew of this little brown bird, but it wasn’t until 1819 that the
Italian naturalist Alberto della Marmora definitively identified the Cetti’s Warbler as the reclusive author of the familiar song.
[Cetti’s Warbler (86199)]
One day, Marmora was walking along the densely vegetated banks of the River Var, in the southeast of France, when he heard a song he thought he recognized.
[Cetti’s Warbler (86171) 00:10]
A well-aimed shotgun blast later, and Marmora knew for sure: the modestly plumaged little bird in his hand was responsible for those familiar phrases.
Forty years earlier, naturalist Francesco Cetti had guessed that this was the bird but had not been able to prove it. Marmora named the bird the Cetti’s Warbler, in his honor. Another of Nature's puzzles solved… and a mystery no more.
For BirdNote, I’m Michael Stein.

Support for BirdNote comes from Songbird Coffee: offering bird-friendly, organic, shade-grown coffees for over twenty years. Learn more at BirdNote.org/songbird.
###
Bird sounds provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Cetti’s Warbler [86145, 86199, 86171] recorded by Arnoud B. van den Berg.
BirdNote's theme music was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler.
Producer: John Kessler
Managing Producer: Jason Saul
Associate Producer: Ellen Blackstone
© 2017 Tune In to Nature.org    September 2017   Narrator: Michael Stein

ID#  CETWAR-01-2017-09-13        CETWAR-01

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