Living a couple of blocks from a freshwater marsh, I often hear the animal wildlife communicate with each other.
The ducks sound like they are laughing while sharing a joke, the frogs sing three part harmony, the squirrels squeal as they gather plants and 135 native bird species sing the melodious tunes of their soul like no others.
We too have our own language fueled by emotion and it all makes interesting listening. If you have never stopped to listen to nature, then you are surely missing out on a symphony.
Listening to nature not only gives you a way to relax but it can also make you curious as to what they are saying? Nature is a sound garden with plenty of unique sounds and tonalities.
Birds are especially musically inclined and can really belt out a tune like the best rock stars. Thankfully you won’t find them smashing their guitars on stage or any other rock star antics. They don’t need any other instruments except their voices.
Dawn is the optimal time to hear birds. One theory is that dawn is the best time for sound to travel, because there is little wind and less other noise and disturbance. Songs broadcast at dawn can be 20 times as effective as those broadcast at midday.
Nightingales hold up to 300 different love songs in their repertoire.
Canaries take 30 mini-breaths a second to replenish its air supply.
Cowbirds use 40 different notes, some so high we can't hear them.
Chaffinches can sing a song half a million times in a season.
Superb Lyrebirds have the loudest bird call in the world.
Bitterns have loud, booming calls and can travel the farthest of all bird songs. It calls relentlessly both day and night.
Kakapos also have one of the most far-carrying songs of any bird.
Several small birds sing on elevated perches high in the vegetation to minimize interference from the ground and foliage.
Brown Thrashers have over 2000 songs in their repertoire.
Sedge warblers produces some of the longest and most complicated of all bird songs.
Marsh wrens conduct singing duels for control of the best quality territories in the limited marsh habitats in the western United States. Males with the most complex songs do best to attract the most females. Males with larger repertoires are preferred by females and hence mate earlier than their rivals. When the males return from migration they sing continuously until mating.
Female alpine accentors sing to attract males, because when she mates with as many males as possible - each one will then assist in caring for her young.
Female red-winged blackbirds sing two distinct song types throughout the breeding season. One song is a form of communication directed at her partner. Another song is sung when other females appear as a sign of aggression.
Male European robins sing all year round. They have two songs, a longer more complex one to attract females in the breeding season, and a shorter simpler one to defend the territory in the winter. Both sexes sing in the winter because both male and female defend separate territories to ensure that each will have enough food to survive the winter.
The female black-headed grosbeaks will use songs to scare her mate. Grosbeak parents take turns in incubating the eggs. But if the male is late returning to relieve the female from her duty, she sings a complex song imitating a male grosbeak. This may be to trick her mate into returning by giving the impression that a rival male is on his territory.
Ravens learn each other's calls. When one partner is away or out of sight, the other will often call with it's mate's individual calls to relocate it and prompt it to return. Both sexes will sing a duet in alternation. Duetting is common in birds that maintain year-round territories.
Each bird is an expert sound mixer. It can also produce the whole chorus on its own. The sound produced by one individual will sound as complex as that produced by nine.
The only bird who doesn’t sing is a humming bird because they don’t know the words. ;D
The next time you hear birds singing, they could be auditioning for the next American Bird Idol.