[seqfan] Combinatorial Ornithology.

Antti Karttunen antti.karttunen at gmail.com
Thu Aug 6 16:58:38 CEST 2009

Oh well...,
quoted from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bright-rumped_Attila


The *Bright-rumped Attila* or *Polymorphic Attila*, *Attila spadiceus*, is a
small passerine <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passerine>
bird<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bird>in the tyrant
flycatcher <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tyrant_flycatcher>
It breeds from northwestern
Mexico <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mexico> to western
Bolivia <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bolivia> and southeastern
and on Trinidad <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trinidad>.


The Bright-rumped Attila is a large tyrant flycatcher with a big head,
hooked and slightly upturned bill and upright stance. It is 7 in (18 cm
long) and weighs 1.4 oz (40 g). The head is olive-green streaked with black,
the back is chestnut or olive, the rump bright yellow and the tail brown.
The wings are dark brown with two pale wing bars and paler feather edging.
The whitish or yellow throat and yellow breast are variably streaked darker.
The belly is white becoming yellow near the tail. The iris is red. The sexes
are similar, but young birds have a cinnamon-fringed crown and brown eyes.

The plumage is very variable, but the streaking below and obvious wingbars
help in distinguishing this species from others in the genus. The calls
include a loud *beat-it, beat-it* and a plaintive *ooo weery weery weery
weery woo*. It does not move when singing, so can be difficult to see.

Central American <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_America> birds have
slightly different song structures and also tend towards lighter
ochre<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ochre>plumage independent of
Rule <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gloger%27s_Rule>; they are sometimes
separated as *Flammulated Attila* (*Attila flammulatus*). Their
characteristic song given at dawn <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dawn> has
been analyzed in detail: it has a very variable number of *weery*s which may
become *weery'o*s, and often ends in a *woo-whit*; a finite state
machine<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finite_state_machine>has been
developed to simulate this structure
[1] <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bright-rumped_Attila#cite_note-0>.
However, due to the highly variable songs more data is required before the
technically plausible split can be accepted; the
so far refrained from formally acknowledging it.


The Leger-reference takes us to:
First documentation of combinatorial song syntax in a suboscine passerine
species. *Condor **107*(4): 765-774:
with three figures in the end.

More information about the SeqFan mailing list