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All winter long, our neighborhood House Finches--like this one--have called to one another with their distinctive, sweet cheeps. And our resident Song Sparrows, with calls that sound like a tiny barking dog. But as the days grow longer in late winter, the lengthening light helps trigger a bird's urge to really sing. The breeding cycle is beginning anew, with song and courtship and then pair-bonding, all leading to nesting.
Spring Brings New Bird Songs
Written by Bob Sundstrom
This is BirdNote!
[House Finches’ call notes]
All winter long, our neighborhood House Finches have called to one another with their distinctive, sweet “cheeps.” [House Finches’ call notes]
And our resident Song Sparrows, with calls that sound like a tiny barking dog.
[Song Sparrow’s call]
But as the days grow longer in late winter, the lengthening light helps trigger a bird’s urge to really sing. A male House Finch breaks into his rich, jumbled phrases [House Finch song], followed by the Song Sparrow’s distinctive song [Song Sparrow song].
The breeding cycle is beginning anew, with song and courtship and then pair-bonding, all leading to nesting. Most year-round, resident birds begin singing before northbound migrants arrive. And, they continue their call notes to keep track of each other throughout the year. [Repeat House Finch and Song Sparrow call notes].
Here is a chance to brush up on your local bird voices as spring approaches. Do you know which common backyard bird makes these calls in winter? [American Robin single “chink” call, and whinny] And then begins singing its graceful, caroling song in very early spring? [American Robin song]
That’s right. It’s a robin, or an American Robin to be precise -- one of the most acclaimed harbingers of spring.
Listen to all these songs again on our website, BirdNote.org. I’m Mary McCann.
Bird calls provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Song Sparrow Song by G.A. Keller and the call by A.A. Allen, House Finch calls and song recorded by G.A. Keller, American Robin “chink” call by R.S. Little, whinny and song by G.A. Keller.
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Chris Peterson
© 2014 Tune In to Nature.org February 2014/2021 Narrator: Mary McCann
orig ID# 022106songKOHO 2009-02-18-spring-09WNPR-MM-east (was 2009-02-18-spring-07-WNPR-MM-east)