It's one to two seconds of pure, mournful tones, sometimes held steady in pitch, sometimes breaking to a higher pitch and then down again, seemingly used to keep mates in contact with each other or to bring them back together. Interestingly, one-week-old young already "wail. And then there's the "tremolo," sounding like maniacal laughter, a call used in a variety of circumstances.
Canoe too close to the nest and the adults tremolo, or listen to the pair "duet tremolo," perhaps as a territorial statement. These birds also "hoot," using brief, soft, low notes to communicate with others in a flock. For an unforgettable experience, listen in the two to three hours before midnight for the grand chorus, when all loons within earshot pull out all stops, using every sound in their vocal arsenal and in all combinations.
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How thrilling to hear the full song of a male Pied-billed Grebe and to watch him in the act. He partially submerges his breast and neck, distends his throat and stretches his neck, and lets fly with about a dozen cuckoo-like kuk notes over two seconds, then, more slowly, about twenty kaow s over seven seconds, ending with a longer, drawn-out, donkey-bray kaooo with several gulping gow notes, and perhaps more braying and gulping.
Go ahead, practice it, and you'll realize what a remarkable sound it is: Twelve kuk s over two seconds, twenty kaow s over seven seconds, ending with at least two series of kaooo-gow-gow-gow-gow-gow! Vary the song as the male does, too, sometimes singing only the kuk notes, sometimes only the kaow notes.
Or sing like the female does, not as loud as the male and omitting the brays and gulps. For best effect, find a partner and duet this song together, just as the grebes do! Listen as two grebes greet each other, both of them calling a rapid-fire ek-ek-ek-ek — about twenty-four notes over three seconds.
Like other grebes, these birds are so expressive in their physical posturing to each other, often using this greeting call in the process. Upon meeting, a paired male and female may pirouette about each other, rising upright in the water, stretching the neck and distending the black throat, while acknowledging each other with the ek-ek- ek call. Sometimes the same pair will come together in hunched posture, swim side by side, bills low, calling ek-ek-ek-ek; then he extends his neck upward and raises his head "growing" while she retracts her neck, keeping the head low and tail up "shrinking" in a complex and beautiful greeting ritual.
HABITAT: Open country with some trees or high perches, including areas such as agricultural fields, plains, urban parklands, and scrub desert. These hawks may be difficult to identify because of their varied plumages, but they're easy to pick out by that feeling of raw power once they speak: a two- to three-second-long shrill and hoarse asthmatic squeal, slurred downward with several subtle but abrupt shifts in pitch: kee-eeee-arrr. So irresistible is the energy in this hair-raising scream that Hollywood has adopted it as the symbol of power in the wilderness.
No matter what the setting, no matter what large hawk-like bird has just appeared on screen, the red-tail's kee-eeee-arrr is assigned to the scene. In spring, watch and listen as male and female court. They circle high over their territory, the male ascending above her, and after a series of dives and ascents he slowly approaches her from above, briefly touching or grasping her with his talons, while both male and female scream kee-eeee-arrr.
During these aerial antics, another sound is often repeated rapidly, sounding much like chwirk, given at the rate of about one per second. In territorial squabbles with neighbors, red-tails dive steeply from high over their own territory and then check their descent, only to shoot upward again, repeatedly screaming kee-eeee-arrr.
With each kee-eeee-arrr, the duration varies, as does the pitch; the quality varies, too, with some sounding rather shrill and pure but others sounding more like a hissy steamboat whistle. Even youngsters in the nest utter a softer version of this adult kee-eeee-arrr, suggesting that this scream is inborn, not learned from adults. With rising inflection, the male calls repeatedly, plaintively, sor-AH Once birds pair, another sound becomes more common, the distinctive horse whinny, whee-hehehehehehehehe-he-he-he-hee-hee-hee-hee-hee-hee-hee.
It's three to four seconds of the finest sound that ever emerges from a marsh: Consisting of sweet, clear tones, the whinny begins with a single, longish note, followed typically by a rising and falling half-second blur of a dozen or so brief notes, and then gradually drops in pitch, successive notes also becoming longer.
Should you be so lucky to spot the bird calling, you'd see that he delivers this call with his bill pointing down, as if talking to the water.
The female then often calls in response, overlapping him, but with a shorter, more variable, and higher-frequency whinny. See All Customer Reviews.
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Shop Books. Add to Wishlist. USD Sign in to Purchase Instantly. Overview With more than , copies already sold, Backyard Birdsongs is back by popular demand. About the Author Donald Kroodsma is professor emeritus of ornithology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and a world-renowned authority on birdsongs.
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This easy-to-use, at-a-glance guide simplifies identification by including View Product. More than edible wild plants, plus 37 poisonous lookalikes, are described here, with More than edible wild plants, plus 37 poisonous lookalikes, are described here, with drawings and 78 color photographs showing precisely how to recognize each species. About this product. Stock photo. Pre-owned: lowest price The lowest-priced item that has been used or worn previously. Text will be unmarked.
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Backyard Birdsong Guides
Add to cart. About this product Product Information Building on the tremendous success of Bird Songs , copies sold , The Backyard Birdsong Guides are regional, interactive handbooks of birds and their songs for beginning bird-watchers. With a touch-button electronic module housing common vocalizations of 75 species from across Eastern and Central North America, this volume offers a truly sensory way to identify and get to know local birds.
Crisply detailed and scientifically accurate illustrations accompany each entry, and up-to-date range maps from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology provide clear geographical reference points. Complete with an introduction to birdsong that will inspire readers to look out their kitchen windows and venture out in the field, this unique book provides an exciting entryway into the subtle art of birding. Additional Product Features Dewey Edition. The wonderful color illustrations by Larry McQueen and Jon Janosik help birders distinguish the male and female of each species.
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Add to Cart. Shopping cart There are no products in your shopping cart. Description With more than , copies already sold, Backyard Birdsongs is back by popular demand. About the Author Donald Kroodsma is professor emeritus of ornithology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and a world-renowned authority on birdsongs. Donald's work on bird song is legendary. In the American Ornithologists' Union called him the "reigning authority on the biology of avian vocal behavior.
He lives in Hatfield, MA. Bird images from those posters and from other sources, including three original watercolor paintings done for BirdSource's Warbler Watch site, are used throughout both the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's web site and the BirdSource web site.