Bird Communication

“Are you talking to me?”
Bird sounds are unique and differ wildly between species. They can be categorized into calls and songs.

Alarm Calls
distinct and piercing, usually short but can be heard over long distances
* in some instances or for impending great danger, the call can be rapid
* purpose is to warn other birds when feeling threatened

Flight Calls
heard when birds take flight or are in flight
* birds that flock together tend to make flight calls
* made when birds want to announce their location to other birds when moving
*most often heard during bird migration

Begging Calls
these calls are specific to young birds
* they come in the form of rasps, chirps and wheezes
* intended for parent to hear
* often accompanied with fluttering noise of wings

Contact Calls
birds in large flocks use call signals to each other
* come in the form of chirps, buzzes that are simple and clear
* not as piercing as alarm calls
* used in mating and informing other birds of a food source.

Bird songs are typically longer in length, more complex, and are strung together in a combination of syllables for a melodious and pleasant tune.

The main difference between bird calls and bird songs are the complexity, length and context. Bird songs are used more generally in declaring a territory and attracting a mate. Bird calls is used more for vital functions such as warning others of predators and flight calls to announce presence inflight. 

Tune into your listening skills and you may hear and identify your visitors in the area before you see them.

"Only to the rude ear of one who is quite indifferent does the song of a bird seem always the same." — Rosa Luxemburg

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