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vocalization

A New Year Dawns

Listen to the earth awaken, as dawn circles the globe. Acoustic ecologist Gordon Hempton recorded these sounds around the globe. He's with SoundTracker. read more »

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Topics & Themes:  vocalization

Message of the Mourning Dove

The Mourning Dove was named for the male's gentle voice, which may sound forlorn. Mourning Doves are common in suburban environments and along roadsides, adapting well to human habitation. On a warm, lazy, summer afternoon, the dove's voice seems to speak more of serenity than sadness, and of a... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  vocalization

Saw-whet Owls Hoot and Hoot

Northern Saw-whet Owls are common in forests across southern Canada and the northern U.S. In early autumn, many move southward, making a large concentration especially in the region of the Great Lakes. To our ear, the "advertising call" of the male, made mostly in spring and summer, sounds... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  vocalization

Northern Mockingbird

The Northern Mockingbird has a broad repertoire. It can mimic everything from other birds to inanimate objects. And it does so at all hours of the day and night. As poet Randall Jarrell put it: On the willow's highest branch, monopolizing Day and night, cheeping, squeaking, soaring, The... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  reflection, vocalization

Bird Sounds Transport Us Back

Bird calls can transport us to times deep in our memory. Is the sound of the Whip-poor-will at dusk part of your memory? Maybe you heard Common Loons calling on a northern lake. Perhaps you awoke on a summer morning to the cooing of a Mourning Dove. Use the link below to discover how your bird is... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  vocalization

Ode to a Nightingale

The Common Nightingale is a shy and plain-looking bird, but its song is lovely. In Ode to a Nightingale, the English poet John Keats wrote: "Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird! No hungry generations tread thee down; ..." You can learn more about the nightingale from the Royal Society for... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  language, vocalization

Song of the Kauai O'o

The sweet, bell-like tones of the Kauai O'o were heard for the last time nearly 20 years ago. The native birds of the Hawaiian Islands, like birds of many island groups, have been hard hit by changes wrought by humans. At least 90% of the bird species driven to extinction in recorded history have... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  recording, sound, vocalization

The Music of Long-tailed Ducks

Long-tailed Ducks are back for the winter from the north, where they nested on tundra ponds and marshes. These diving ducks spend the winter in deep salt water, often in sheltered bays. Long-tailed Ducks are far more vocal than most ducks, a feature that has earned them a host of charming... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  vocalization

July before Dawn - Aldo Leopold

The song of this Field Sparrow was the first bird song Aldo Leopold awoke to on his Wisconsin farm in the 1940s. Sadly, Field Sparrow populations are declining rapidly. You can learn more about "The State of the Birds" from National Audubon, and the plight of the Field Sparrow in particular. read more »

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Topics & Themes:  history, reflection, vocalization

Urban Birds Change Their Tune

The soft whistles of this Great Tit, a common European bird, can be hard to hear over city noises. So these birds now sing at a higher pitch and faster than normal. This song carries better over the traffic noise of the city. A bird singing at a higher range is better able to declare its... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  science, vocalization

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