Eastern Ecological Science Center (formerly Patuxent Wildlife Research Center) (EESC)    Migratory Bird Research (MBR)    Comments/FAQ(comments)

Patuxent Bird Songs

Nowadays, all good birders have some knowledge of bird songs. In most habitats, the vast majority of birds are not visible, and hearing songs and calls provides a way to sample these habitats. In the BBS, most identifications of birds are by songs or calls.

Here, we present songs and calls of birds in WAV format. To speed download time, the files are also presented in a shortened format.

Basic Information: Bird Song recordings

In many ways, surveying a BBS route is a test of the commitment and capabilities of a birder. Aside from the physical difficulties of getting to the starting point of the route before dawn and conducting the 50 counts, the observer must be able to quickly and correctly identify the species of birds present at each stop. One skill that separates BBS observers from most birders is their knowledge of bird sounds. Most of the birds counted in the BBS are never even seen by the observers, who often identify species based on single songs or chip notes. Achieving this level of skill requires an enormous amount of committment and training.

Recognizing this need for information of bird songs, Robbins et al. (1983) provided sonagrams based on field recordings of birds. There are also many commercially available recordings of bird songs. In this part of the Home Page, we make available recordings of selected North American birds. These recordings are from 2 sources: (1) recordings made by Chandler S. Robbins, and (2) recordings made by John Sauer and others in the United States and Mexico. Recordings were transferred from tape to a digital file (.wav) format.

When you click on a species name, the server will try to transfer the song file to your computer. If your brower is prepared to accept songs, it should automatically store the file and call up your sound recording and playback program. Please note--If you do not have a sound card and software that can play songs in this format, then you will not be able to use this part of the Home Page!

These songs represent our first try at converting the sounds to computer files, and some of the editing shows our lack of experience. Please bear with us, and let us know whether the sounds are of use to you. Also, we are very interested in developing a more-extensive repertoire of songs. If you have some high quality bird recordings on casette that you would be willing to either introduce into the public domain or allow limited use, we will be happy to scan them into computer files and make them available to users of the Home Page. Of course, any contributors will be acknowledged on the Home Page.

Anyone wishing to copy these items should recognize that they remian the property of the recorders, and we are using them with permission. Other uses of the songs would require permission of the recorders.

Literature Cited

Robbins, C. S, B. Bruun, and H. S. Zim.  1983.  Birds of North America.
     Golden Press, New York.  360pp.

Author information: Bird Song recordings

    Species Name         Scientific  Name           Recorder           Date
Roadside hawk            Buteo magnirostris         John R. Sauer      1996
Lauging falcon           Herpetotheres cachinnans   John R. Sauer      1996
Northern jacana          Jacana spinosa             John R. Sauer      1996
Olive-throated parakeet  Aratinga nana              John R. Sauer      1996        
White-fronted parrot     Amazona albifrons          John R. Sauer      1996
Red-lored parrot         Amazona autumnalis         John R. Sauer      1996
Yellow-headed parrot     Amazona oratrix            John R. Sauer      1996
Violaceous trogon        Trogon violaceus           John R. Sauer      1996
Social flycatcher        Myiozetetes similis        John R. Sauer      1996
Spot-breasted wren       Thryothorus maculipectus   John R. Sauer      1996
Gray-throated chat       Granatellus sallaei        John R. Sauer      1996
Grayish saltator         Saltator coerulescens      John R. Sauer      1996
Black-headed saltator    Saltator atriceps          John R. Sauer      1996
Blue-black grosbeak      Cyanocompsa cyanoides      John R. Sauer      1996
Green-backed sparrow     Arremenops chloronotus     John R. Sauer      1996
Melodious blackbird      Dives dives                John R. Sauer      1996

Songlist:WAV files

Calllist:WAV files

Songlist:Shortened WAV files

Calllist:Shortened WAV files

Last updated: October 21, 1996