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How Much Birds Sing

100 times a day? 1000? Some do a lot more than that!

A typical songbird belts out its song between 1,000 and 2,500 times per day. Even though most bird songs last only a few seconds, that's a lot of warbling! A Yellowhammer, a European bunting, may sing over 3,000 times a day. But the Yellowhammer doesn't even come close to the North American record-holder, this Red-eyed Vireo. One such vireo delivered its song over 22,000 times in ten hours!

Support for BirdNote comes from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, presenting its new “Bird Photography” online course, featuring Melissa Groo. Learn more at academy.allaboutbirds.org.

Full Transcript

Transcript: 

BirdNote®

How Much Birds Sing

Written by Bob Sundstrom

This is BirdNote!

[Black-headed Grosbeak song]

This rollicking song belongs to a Black-headed Grosbeak. [Black-headed Grosbeak song] Like most birds, the male grosbeak begins singing in earnest a few days after reaching his traditional nesting grounds in spring. [Black-headed Grosbeak song] And, like most birds, he sings frequently when trying to attract a mate. He’ll sing a bit less while he and his mate incubate eggs, but pick up the pace again after the young hatch. [Black-headed Grosbeak song] By late summer, his singing will cease.

Ever wonder how much a bird sings in one day? Some patient observers have shown that a typical songbird belts out its song between 1,000 and 2,500 times per day. Even though most bird songs last only a few seconds, that’s a lot of warbling!

On nights with a full moon, male Sage Thrashers have been known to proclaim their long-winded songs all night. [Sage Thrasher song] But the North American record-holder may well be the Red-eyed Vireo. One such vireo delivered its short song over 22,000 times in ten hours! [Red-eyed Vireo song]

For Birdnote, I'm Michael Stein.  

Support for BirdNote comes from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, presenting its new “Bird Photography” online course, featuring Melissa Groo. Learn more at academy.allaboutbirds.org.

###

Bird sounds provided by The Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York.  Song of the Black-headed Grosbeak 126546 recorded by T.G. Sander; song of Sage Thrasher 120223 recorded by G.A. Keller; song of the Red-eyed Vireo 110208 recorded by W.L. Hershberger. 
BirdNote's theme music was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and produced by John Kessler.         
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Chris Peterson
© 2015 Tune In to Nature.org     June 2017/2020    Narrator: Michael Stein

ID#  song-04-2008-06-04-KPLU      song-04b

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