Saturday, January 1

Thrush calls II : alarm and contact calls

The American Robin has a variety of alarm or contact calls, often heard at dusk:

chap (July, ME)

puck (May, NJ)

puck, tzzap, puk-puk-puk (Nov, PA)



chip (May, NJ)

Puk-puk-puk, by a single aggressive bird in a foraging flock. This call is often heard at dusk. At the end of the recording the birds suddenly flush with high pitched flight calls (Feb, NJ).

A musical variant of the call (Mar, PA)

Quiet calls by one bird close to another (Mar, PA).

The whistle call is ventriloquial and is heard when an intruder is close to the nest or in the presence of a hawk (May, NJ).

Most thrushes have this "hawk alarm" call. This is a Veery (May, PA).

Like the robin, the Veery has a number of contact and alarm calls. Interestingly, Veeries also show a lot of variability in their flight calls.
(May, NJ)

(May, NJ)

(May, NJ)

(May, NJ)

This Veery call is wren-like (May, NJ).

Hermit Thrush wheer, this call seems to be heard more often on the breeding grounds (July, ME)

The chup call is the most frequently heard call during the day in migration, especially at dawn (Apr, PA).

Swainson's Thrush whip calls (with song phrases, July, ME).

whip and werr, (breeding grounds in Alaska in June).

whip-werr and other calls (July, ME)

Gray-cheeked Thrush, two calls, peeuu and pyu, also on breeding grounds in Alaska in June. Presumed alarm call, but similar to flight call.



In migration Swainson's and Gray-cheeked Thrushes are very vocal while flying at night and when first landing before dawn, but are mostly silent during the day.

The Wood Thrush has a soft bubbly alarm (with Gray Catbird calls, July, PA).

This progresses into a whit-whit-whit with further agitation (May, NJ).

intermediate call


Calls by several Wood Thrushes shortly after sunset (June, PA).

The Eastern Bluebird has a chatter-like call used both as an alarm call and, as in this case, amongst birds in a migrating flock (about a dozen birds, Oct, PA).
Also heard are trill-like interaction calls, at 6-9 and 19-23s.

trill-like call

Aggressive reaction between two birds, with a third singing (Oct, PA).

These are soft contact calls between several birds, and were barely audible (Jan, PA)

1 comment:

Pieter said...

I just found this blog and think it is fabulous. I am organizing morning group bird sits at a local pond, and this morning, I heard a "wheeze" I couldn't identify. Luckily, the local audubon society publishes an online profile of the location, listing many of the birds heard in the fall. But didn't have the call I was looking for. You recorded the exact thing I heard this morning: Hermit Thrush calls!! Thanks for this great website.