Songs and Calls
Streaming Audio


While these terms are often used synonymously, songs and calls serve different purposes. Songs are generally, longer, more melodic, and used mostly by males in a reproductive context. Calls are usually shorter, made by both sexes, and used in a variety of contexts. The American robin's calls sound nothing like its deedli-um deedle-dee song.

American robin calls are nicely presented on the CD collection Western Birding by Ear produced for the Peterson Field Guide series. The American robin's song I use, as well as the nice examples of the mountain chickadee's song and call, are from the CD collection Bird Songs of California produced by the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology.