Bird Song Analysis

Bird Song Analysis
A bird is often heard long before he is seen. Often distinct songs are used to attract mates, defend territory and signal warnings. Bird songs might be learned in much the same way you learn to recognize music.
 

Notes

Bird songs consist of one or more notes. These notes might be repeated multiple times or be one part of a more complex chain of notes.

 
 

Pitch

Pitch refers to the octave of the bird song. The white-winged dove and the great-horned owl exemplify low-pitch calls, while the American robin demonstrates a high-pitched call.

Rhythm

Learn to recognize the tempo, or speed, of a song. Some birds sing a very slow song, while others send their messages in quick succession.

Timbre

Two birds singing the same notes with the same pitch sound quite different. A trained ear can recognize these sometimes subtle differences in much the same way an audiophile might distinguish between a trumpet and trombone playing the same notes.

Mnemonics

Many birders create phrases that sound like the bird song to aid in remembering and recognizing the song.

Identification

A spectrogram is a pictorial representation of a bird song, allowing pitch, repetition and rhythm to be identified and analyzed.

 

Article Written By David Chandler

David Chandler has been a freelance writer since 2006 whose work has appeared in various print and online publications. A former reconnaissance Marine, he is an active hiker, diver, kayaker, sailor and angler. He has traveled extensively and holds a bachelor's degree from the University of South Florida where he was educated in international studies and microbiology.

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