Bird Talk

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Like other species, birds have their very own special way of communicating with each other!  Whether it be a hearty squawk, a teeny chirp, or a beautiful bird song, it all means something.  Today we are going to try to get to the bottom of what all this bird talk means!

Photo: Pixabay

Bird communication includes a whole bunch of different sounds: singing, calls, squeaks, squawks, gurgles, warbles, trills, rattles, gulps, pops, whines, clicks, croaks, drums, whistles, howls, tremolos, thumps, honks, and many others! Can you identify any birds in your neighbourhood just by sound? Here are some common ones you may recognize! 

American robin
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Blue jay
Photo: Rob Hanson
American crow
Photo: Joe McKenna
Black-capped chickadee
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Mourning dove
Photo: Dawn Beattie
Canada goose
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Check out lots of other bird calls here!

Although most birds use sound to communicate, others do not use their voice at all. For example, some birds flap their wings against the air or orient their feathers in a certain way as they fly, to create a “winnowing” sound.

There are multiple reasons a bird needs to communicate, including claiming territory, attracting mates, begging parents for food, calling to their chicks or mate, keeping their flock together, scaring intruders, or warning others about predators. For example, the iconic loon wail is the haunting call that loons give back and forth to figure out each other’s location over long distances. Sound is a very important means of communication that can travel quite far, through the darkness, and from within thickets of branches, which helps in cases where birds cannot rely on their vision.

Photo: Michael Whyte

Want to learn more about birds and how you can help out your local bird population?  Check out the For The Birds Mission on the Earth Rangers App.

42 COMMENTS

  1. I have seen American robin, Canadian goose, pileated woodpecker (I went camping), northern chickadee, blue jay, crows and bleeding heart dove( at the zoo).

  2. They seem like cool birds and I saw the chickadee the crow the blue jay and the robin .we have lots of birds in our neighborhood