May 4, 2008

On Black-Capped Chickadees and Identifying Bird Calls

Left: Black-capped Chickadee

(Toledo, OH) I have been carrying on a whistled conversation with some songbirds in my neighborhood the past few weeks. Typically the song is a two-note ditty, with the first whistled note being a D - located two octaves above middle C - while the second note is a B, three steps below the D note.

Identifying the bird, however, proved to be difficult, and I spent far too much time scanning websites with digitized bird calls trying to match a bird with the song I kept hearing.

I was flipping through an interactive book that features North American songbirds the other day when I came across the creator of this song: the Black-capped Chickadee. You can follow this link to hear a sample of the male chickadee's two-note whistle.

Another bird call mystery is solved, and I now know the name of another of the avian visitors to my backyard feeders.

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