Hermit Thrush
Hermit Thrush

Hermit Thrush Photo: Ann Kramer/Audubon Photography Awards
Hermit Thrush Photo: Ann Kramer/Audubon Photography Awards

Audubon from Home

Beautiful Bird Songs

Some of my favorite songs from our feathered friends.

There are just some bird songs that stop me in my tracks. I marvel at the complexity, the melody, the tone. They're the ones that stand out from the rest of the dawn chorus by their sheer beauty. I'm always grateful to be in the right place at the right time when I hear them. 

Here are the songs of some of my favorites for you to enjoy from wherever you are, at any time you wish. 

Here's a link to download the FREE Audubon Bird Guide App: https://www.audubon.org/app, so you can have bird songs in your pocket.
include links to the online version of the Audubon Bird Guide for each of the birds listed below https://www.audubon.org/bird-guide and give links for the songs. 

Some Thrushes:

Veery. When I'm asked to pick my favorite bird song, this is it. The Veery can make two tones at the same time, using both sides of its syrinx to create harmony with itself. The song has a spiraling, descending flute-like tone. You can see the two tones on a spectrogram and read more about it here.

Wood Thrush. Really, all of the thrushes are amazing singers. But I like the bouncy lilt of the song of the Wood Thrush, as well as the strange, almost-metallic sound at the end of the song. It's a really weird noise that sets it apart from all other birds' songs. 

Wood Thrush
Wood Thrush Photo: Nate Rathbun / USFWS

Hermit Thrush. This one's song is clear, simple and yet complex at the same time. The longer tone at the start of the song sets a calming vibe, and then it gets all jumbly. It's a good one.

Speedy Songs:

Bobolink. Yes, the R2-D2 bird. Its song is a very bubbly, metallic-sounding tumble of random notes. You'll find these birds nesting in Vermont's hayfields. Learn more about Audubon Vermont's work to help conserve the Bobolink: http://vt.audubon.org/bobolink

Bobolink Photo: Doug Gimler

Winter Wren. This bird wins the prize for the longest song. It's one of the fastest as well. Someone once told me it sounds like an electric guitar solo. Winter wrens like to nest and forage in messy tangles of fallen trees' root balls on the forest floor.  

Slow Songs:

Red-eyed Vireo. This bird sings all day long. It doesn't matter how hot it is, or if it's raining. This bird is singing. The song is short, sweet and sing-song-ey. "Look at me. Way up high. Over here. In a tree." So very reassuring to hear this bird song at my side in the woods. 

Blue-headed Vireo. Slow down the song of the Red-eyed Vireo and you've got the Blue-headed Vireo. Its song has long, long pauses between the phrases that invite you to listen for more. 

Birds from Around the World:

When I find myself in a different part of the world, I listen to bird song in a whole different way. The part of my brain that tries to identify bird song doesn't engage, and I can more easily appreciate the tones and melodies of the songs. Enjoy this video shared with me by a good friend:

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