Thursday, April 1

Icterid songs

Red-winged Blackbird, two males counter-singing (Apr, NJ). Each male has a repertoire of up to nine songs.












Red-winged Blackbird with the vaguely similar Seaside Sparrow singing (Apr, NJ).


Seaside Sparrow to left








Female Red-winged Blackbirds have calls that have been interpreted as representing song. Here the hard tup calls are by males, all other vocalizations by females. (June, PA).




Males making a similar vocalization (July, PA).





Rusty Blackbirds have two song types, a squeaky wheel type and another that is gurgling. Both sexes sing (male, Apr, NJ).







In the spring Rusty Blackbirds move north in noisy flocks of singing birds, often with Red-winged Blackbirds mixed in. This flock of about twenty birds was in a wooded area with standing water in April, again in SW NJ.
Hopefully we'll continue to hear this sound, as Rusty Blackbirds are dramatically declining.







The Common Grackle "song" is call-like and can have a squeaky component, resembling the Rusty Blackbird song. Each individual (both sexes sing) has only one song. In the following example, two birds appeared to be duetting (Mar, PA). At least one (the other was hidden) performed the ruffed out display as it sang.












Another example (Apr, NJ).










The song is often two-parted, with a whistle following the initial harsh phrase. The bird ruffles its neck feathers for the first part, then points its bill down and cocks its tail up for the whistle (Mar, PA).




In this example, some of the songs have the whistle, some don't (with check and trr calls, Mar, PA).





Boat-tailed Grackle singing at dawn. Each bird has a syllable repertoire of about 10 (Apr, NJ).





















Song with wing-fluttering.














The Brown-headed Cowbird song is a bubbly note at the start followed by a whistle. Each male has a small repertoire of several different phrases. Lone male in tree top (May, NJ)




In this example, the lone male, singing at the top of a tree interjects a two-noted flight whistle on occasion (Apr, PA).





the flight whistle (each male has one)




Baltimore Oriole (May, PA).












(May, NJ).












(May, NJ)











The song often sounds like nothing more than a call (May, NJ).












Orchard Oriole (Eastern Kingbird in background, May, NJ).












Bobolink, each male has a repertoire of two, but they are often sung incompletely (June, NJ).












Eastern Meadowlark, song by a flock of wintering birds (Nov, NJ).












Western Meadowlark, each male has a reperoire of about seven songs (dawn, Mar, NE).


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