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Voices and Vocabularies - The Basics
Birds’ voices invite us to step into nature and learn more about the singers. Hearing what’s distinctive in one bird’s voice — compared to another — helps us identify our avian neighbors without seeing them. Amazing! The differences between the songs of three marsh-dwellers: the brassy sound of the Red-winged Blackbird, the galloping rhythm of the Common Yellowthroat, and the sneeze of this Willow Flycatcher.
Today’s show is brought to you by White Flower Farm, a family-owned mail order nursery offering a wide range of perennials, annuals, and shrubs for spring planting.
Voices and Vocabularies – The Basics
Written by Bob Sundstrom
This is BirdNote.
[A sound mix that includes just the basic songs of Red-winged Blackbird, Willow Flycatcher, Common Yellowthroat – each song once]
Three different birds are singing across a marsh. [Red-winged Blackbird, Willow Flycatcher, Common Yellowthroat]
One bird’s voice comes across as a brassy “kon-ka-REE!” [Red-winged Blackbird song, twice]. A second sounds like a sneeze [Willow Flycatcher "fitz-bew", twice]. And a third voice has a galloping rhythm [Brisk Common Yellowthroat song].
Here are the three again, together. See if you can hear the differences. [Red-winged Blackbird, Willow Flycatcher, Common Yellowthroat]
Congratulations! You’ve just made the essential step in learning how to recognize bird songs: hearing what’s distinctive in one bird’s voice, compared to another bird’s voice.
So who are these three marsh birds we’ve been sorting out? The brassy voice belongs to a Red-winged Blackbird [Red-winged Blackbird song, twice]. A Willow Flycatcher made that sneezy “FITZ! bew” [Willow Flycatcher “fitz-bew,” twice]. And the repeated, galloping phrases? [Brisk Common Yellowthroat song] That’s the song of a Common Yellowthroat.
Birds’ voices are an invitation. They invite us to get to know the singers better. And for a moment to step into nature. [Brisk Common Yellowthroat song twice]
Today’s show is brought to you by White Flower Farm, a family-owned mail order nursery offering a wide range of perennials, annuals, and shrubs for spring planting. More information is at whiteflowerfarm.com.
Bird sounds provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Red-winged Blackbird #57196 recorded by W.W.H. Gunn. Willow Flycatcher #129025 recorded by M.J. Anderson. Ambient and Common Yellowthroat #163344 recorded by Matthew Medler.
BirdNote's theme music was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and produced by John Kessler.
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Chris Peterson
© 2016 Tune In to Nature.org March 2014/2017 Narrator: Michael Stein
ID# sound-12-2013-03-01 sound-12