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Most of the time, male birds sing for two reasons: 1.) To attract a mate. 2.) To proclaim a territory. Many birds can be recognized by their song. Sometimes, some birds (especially thrushes and flycatchers) look so similar that the only way to tell them apart is by song. Some bird songs, such as those of the Wood Thrush and Hermit Thrush, are so beautiful, that they have been written about by famous poets. The following words about the Wood Thrush song are from the famous poet Henry David Thoreau
The thrush alone declares the immortal wealth and vigor that is in the forest. Here is a bird in whose strain the story is told… Whenever a man hears it he is young, and Nature is in her spring; whenever he hears it, it is a new world and a free country, and the gates of heaven are not shut against him.”
Many birds songs can be recognized because they sound somewhat like human words. For example, the Tufted Titmouse will sing “Peter, Peter, Peter….” and the Eastern Towhee will sing “Drink your teaaaa…”. Listen to some sample bird songs below.
The Wood Thrush is universally thought of as one of nature’s finest songsters. Click the video below to hear its song. Many liken it to a flute.
The Common Loon typifies the sound of the northern woods. Click on the video below to hear several loons calling back and forth across the twilight.
The mockingbird can imitate the sounds of many different things. Listen to this one!
The Song Sparrow is one of the most familiar of all bird songs. If you live in America, I bet you’ve heard it before.
The Carolina Wren has an incredibly loud voice for a bird only about four inches in length.