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Three Brown Thrushes

Each is worthy of a long, silent pause in the woods!

The Swainson's Thrush, the Hermit Thrush, and the Veery are small, brown birds, but their songs clearly distinguish them. The Swainson's Thrush announces its presence in early spring with subtle, limpid "whit" or "wink" sounds. Many rate it among the finest singers. A Veery's phrases tend downward in pitch. The Hermit Thrush sings ethereal, paired phrases, long flute-like notes backed by complex, reedy phrases.

Full Transcript

Transcript: 

BirdNote®

Three Brown Thrushes: Three Fine Songs

Written by Bob Sundstrom

BirdNote®

Three Brown Thrushes: Three Fine Songs

Written by Bob Sundstrom

This is BirdNote!

[‘Whit’ call notes of a Swainson’s Thrush newly arrived]

When Swainson’s Thrushes first return to nest in the woods of the West, or the northern states and Canada, they announce their presence with subtle calls – limpid “whit” or “wink” sounds. [Call notes of Swainson’s Thrush] About a week later, generally at dusk, they break into full song. 

[Swainson’s Thrush song]

Many rate the Swainson’s Thrush among the finest singers. 

[Swainson’s Thrush song] 

And two of its closest contenders for musical elegance are also close cousins: the Veery and the Hermit Thrush. All three are small, brown birds, but their songs, each reedy or flute-like, clearly distinguish them.

While a Swainson’s Thrush song spirals upward, [Swainson’s Thrush song], a Veery’s phrases tend downward in pitch [Veery song]. The Hermit Thrush sings ethereal, paired phrases, long flute-like notes backed by complex, reedy phrases. [Hermit Thrush song]

Each is worthy of a long, silent pause in the woods. The Swainson’s Thrush [Swainson’s Thrush song] …the Veery [Veery song]…the Hermit Thrush [Hermit Thrush song].

 If you know someone who might enjoy today’s program, you can forward it to him or her, from our website, at birdnote.org. I’m Michael Stein.

###

Bird audio provided by The Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Swainson’s Thrush call [111048] and song recorded by G.A. Keller. Veery song recorded by W.W.H. Gunn. Hermit Thrush song recorded by T.G. Sander.

Theme music composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler.

Producer: John Kessler

Executive Producer: Chris Peterson

© 2013 Tune In to Nature.org   May 2013 Narrator: Michael Stein

ID# 050307thrushesKPLU thrush-01b

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