You are here
Songs and Calls - They're Not the Same
To our ear, the haunting song of this Hermit Thrush is musical, even ethereal. To another Hermit Thrush, the song signals that a male is laying claim to a territory and seeking a mate. These thrushes, like other songbirds, broadcast a variety of calls. Call notes can signal many things – alarm at a predator or aggression toward a rival. Or they may simply maintain contact between members of a pair or flock. So the next time you hear a bird sing or call, listen carefully. You may be introduced to a whole new vocabulary.
Songs and Calls
Written by Bob Sundstrom
This is BirdNote.
[Hermit Thrush song]
To our ear, the haunting song of the Hermit Thrush is musical, even ethereal. [Hermit Thrush song] To another Hermit Thrush, the song signals a male is laying claim to a territory and seeking a mate.
Spend time around Hermit Thrushes in a mountain forest in summer, and you’re also likely to hear them make other sounds, such as [‘chuck’ call notes] or [upslurred whine call]. Hermit Thrushes, like other songbirds, broadcast a variety of calls.
Call notes can signal many things – alarm at a predator [omitted call -- too high to be heard on radio] or aggression toward a rival. Or they may simply maintain contact between members of a pair or flock. [Repeat call notes]
Black-capped Chickadees sing a plaintive, whistled song [‘feeebee, feeebee’ song], and make a call that gives the bird its name [‘chickadee, chickadeedeedee’]. The chick-a-dee call serves different purposes in different contexts and is but one of a dozen in the bird’s repertoire [mobbing call].
American Goldfinch males sing a bright, bubbly song [American Goldfinch song] and nearly always call in flight with a sweet, four-syllable [American Goldfinch ‘perchicoree’].
Like to tell us what birds are singing and calling around your home? Find us at birdnote.org. I’m Michael Stein.
Sounds of the birds provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Song of Hermit Thrush 111136 recorded by T.G. Sander; call of Hermit Thrush 107506 by W.L. Hershberger; call of Hermit Thrush 51142 by Kevin Colver; call of Black-capped Chickadee recorded by R.S. Little; mobbing call of Black-capped Chickadee 107803 by S.R. Pantle; song of American Goldfinch 105487 by G.A.Keller; flight call of male American Goldfinch 94457 by W.L. Hershberger.
Song of Black-capped Chickadee recorded by Martyn Stewart of naturesound.com
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Chris Peterson
© 2012 Tune In to Nature.org June 2012 Narrator: Michael Stein