Program Information — Series 3 & 4
Click on a program in the right-hand column to see a description and program notes.

Chick ID Calls

Many shorebirds are ready to walk or swim soon after they hatch. For these birds, communication between parents and chicks is important for keeping track of each other.

The common murre chicks begin to vocalize while they're still in the egg, and by the time they hatch, parents and chicks recognize each other's calls. That's vitally important, since the father takes to the water with the chicks soon after hatching, while the mother, who has neared starvation during her nesting vigil, recuperates.

But not all shorebirds have this mutual recognition. Black-legged kittiwake chicks recognize their parents' calls, but the parent doesn't recognize the chick's. The parent approaches the nesting site calling and homes in on whichever chick seemed to be responding to the parent's call.

My source for the herring gull chick-in-egg sounds is the British Library sound library website.

I used two sources for the kittiwake calls:

  • the CD collection Western Bird Songs produced by the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology for the Peterson Field Guides series
  • Kitti-wake call of a Black-legged Kittiwake. Recorded in Northwest Territories, Canada by Stuart D. MacDonald. Sound and spectrogram courtesy of Macaulay Library, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York (LNS #43092). Northwest Territories, Canada

I found the MacDonald recording at The Birds of North America Online, a subscription service from Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology and the American Ornithologists' Union, which kindly granted me access to the site for use on California Bird Talk.

The calls of the common murres likewise come from two sources:

Series 3
Egg Calls
Chick ID Calls
Chicken Calls
Vocal Tract
Syrinx Styles
Airway Model
Airway Overtones
Coiled Trachea
Beak & Airway
Vowels & Airway
Tuvan Throat Singing

Series 4
Size & Sound
Forest Soundscape
Grassland Soundscape
Bird Hearing
Local Dialects
Regional Dialects
Drumming - Woodpeckers Etc.
Bird Tongues
Bird Brains & Singing
Song Duels?
Dawn Chorus
Finale: Song Sparrow