aba events

Surprising Song Sparrows

facebooktwitter

We noted yesterday that we at Birding delight in running articles with surprising content. Case in point: Paul Hess’s “News and Notes” in the current, January/February 2013 issue. Hess starts the coverage with an item on the recent falcons-aren’t-related-to-other-raptors news that has surprised so many of us. But it’s Hess’s second item, on the supposedly well-known Song Sparrow, that we’ll focus on here.

13-1-09-02 [Song Sparrow]The familiar song of the Song Sparrow technically is known as the loud crystalized song. Click here to listen. Likewise familiar to many birders is the soft crystalized song—also known as the “quiet song.” Click here to listen. Both of these songs are used to advertise territory. So far, so good. No surprises—yet.
Right: Photo by Tim Zurowski.

Now listen to this song. What’s up with that! Could this be one of those subsongs, sung by young males practicing how to sing? Nope; it’s sung by the same adult male who sang the two “normal” territorial songs we heard above. This fascinating song is referred to as the warbled soft song, and it has a surprising function.

If you’re an ABA member, head on over to the ABA website to learn more about the Song Sparrow’s warbled soft song. Our online content includes:

  • The full text of Paul Hess’s online-only article, “A Threatening Song”
  • Sound recordings of different songs sung by male Song Sparrows
  • Sound spectrograms that help you “see” the sparrows’ songs

If you’re not an ABA member, what are you waiting for! Join today, and we’ll rush you the January/February 2013 Birding, which includes exclusive 2013 ABA Bird of the Year content and Bird of the Year stickers.

 

The following two tabs change content below.
Birding Magazine

Birding Magazine

Birding magazine is the flagship publication of the American Birding Association
Birding Magazine

Latest posts by Birding Magazine (see all)

Birders know well that the healthiest, most dynamic choruses contain many different voices. The birding community encompasses a wide variety of interests, talents, and convictions. All are welcome.
If you like birding, we want to hear from you.
Read More »

Recent Comments

Categories

Authors

Archives

via email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • Meet Dessi Sieburth, 2015 ABA Young Birder of the Year May 17, 2015 12:00
    Learn more about Dessi Sieburth, the 12-year-old 2015 Young Birder of the Year! […]
  • Wildlife Ecology Research April 22, 2015 11:35
    Rensselaerville Falls, Huyck Preserve and Biological Research Station. July 13, 2014. What: Wildlife Ecology Research Program for high school students entering their Junior or Senior Year. Where: Huyck Preserve and Biological Research Station 5052 Delaware Turnpike Rensselaerville, NY 12147 When: Late applications due May 1 by 5 PM, EDT. Session I—July 5-26 Session II—August […]
  • Young Birder Blog Birding #37 April 8, 2015 4:19
    For many birders, February is a month of waiting. After February, the snow will melt and the first Killdeers and American Woodcocks will usher in a parade of exciting spring migrants. […]

Follow ABA on Twitter