If you’ve ever heard a bobolink sing, you know they have a really interesting song. Their song has been called metallic, bubbly and bright and some people even think it sounds like a certain robot from an epic space movie. *cough* R2-D2 *cough*
The bobolink isn’t the only bird known for the sound it makes. Owls are famous for hooting, parrots for squawking and chickens for clucking. Have you ever wondered why birds make these sounds? It’s for the same reason we make sounds: to communicate!
Birds use different sounds to mean different things. Songs (long and fancy sounds) may be used for attracting a mate and defending territory. Calls (short and simple sounds) may be used to identify each other, to discuss food and to warn each other when predators are nearby.
Not all birds use their voices to communicate; instead, some birds use rhythm and vibrations.
– When you hear a woodpecker tapping on a tree, they could be looking for insects or they might be talking to other woodpeckers in the area.
– To attract a mate or to defend its territory, a ruffed grouse will flap its wings against its back to make a drumming sound.
– As a snipe flies, its special tail feathers vibrate, creating a high pitched sound known as winnowing.
Not only are the sounds birds make important for communicating with each other, they are also important for the scientists trying to identify them. It can be hard to tell some birds apart just by looking at them but listening to their calls can really make a difference.
Let’s test out your bird identification skillz! Listen to these bird sounds and see if you can figure out which birds make them.
- Click here for the answers!
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