ID this bird by its catchy song
July 11, 2013 4:06 PM   Subscribe

I would love to identify the bird in my neighborhood singing this 3-note tune (self-link to Soundcloud). The song is very distinct, yet I can never see the rascal who's singing it. Location: SE Lower Michigan, suburban, no swamps nearby. There are robins, cardinals, grosbeaks, sparrows and blue jays around, but I've listened online to the recordings of those critters and none of them match the bird I'm hearing.
posted by Cheezitsofcool to Science & Nature (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
That's most likely a Carolina Wren; they're known for their "teakettle-teakettle-teakettle" song.
posted by Specklet at 4:15 PM on July 11, 2013

That sounds a little deeper than the wrens I hear around here, but I'm going to go with that too. I've heard cardinals make a very similar call, but it tends to be ascending rather than descending. Could be a mockingbird fooling us all, too.
posted by jquinby at 4:28 PM on July 11, 2013

Response by poster: I do hear some of the other wren songs and calls around, it's just that the notes I'm hearing from this bird are a lot slower than the wren triplet.
posted by Cheezitsofcool at 4:31 PM on July 11, 2013

Response by poster: This YT clip almost convinces me it's a cardinal putting his unique stamp on their call. How much individual variation can one bird have on a song?
posted by Cheezitsofcool at 4:46 PM on July 11, 2013

Response by poster: So much information about northern cardinal songs! Lots of variation, though they say their song is typically two syllables, which are slurred notes differing in pitch. I'm listening to the audio clips and while there's no direct match yet, I think it's the closest thus far.
posted by Cheezitsofcool at 8:01 PM on July 11, 2013

My first thought was Baltimore Oriole. Listen to the second to last song variation listed here.
posted by Empidonax at 8:13 PM on July 11, 2013

Response by poster: This morning I woke up to the sound of my unidentified bird buddy. Except today his song has only two descending syllables instead of three! It's like he knows we're after him and is deliberately mocking our efforts. I also feel like I can tell it's the same bird because I recognize the sound of his voice?
posted by Cheezitsofcool at 4:32 AM on July 12, 2013

Wouldn't surprise me at all if it's the same bird. He's probably staking out a territory.

There's a mockingbird that "owns" a telephone pole near our house and he's out there all day (every day) running through his entire repertoire.
posted by jquinby at 6:00 AM on July 12, 2013

« Older Teach me how to narrow down my dissertation topic   |   Fungus ID! Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.