SIMILAR SONGS COMPARED
BIRDS THAT TRILL OR SHARPLY CHATTER
A short series of sharp chirps dropping a bit in pitch at the end. April to mid-summer, incredibly common in its preferred brushy habitat, and a beauty.
This bird's song can be remembered as a "jitterbug" for its fast, repeated trill. They live in most of our brushy areas, including along streams and rivers.
The Spotted Towhee, in summer, in its inland breeding areas, has this very fast trill, delivered from the brushy areas it loves. They overwinter along the coast, making a different, raspy call that's hard to describe, but move inland in the spring. This in their spring/summer breeding call, very commonly heard along brushy river flats.
Photos of the birds will be added into this space!
The junco's song is generally a form of medium-speed, same-pitched trill coming from the brush. One of the most common birds in HumCo, found in all types of habitat, year-round. (They do make some other sounds, which will be posted at some point).
BIRDS THAT WARBLE
The robin's song is rarely associated with the bird, as it's singing is usually delivered from high perches. As opposed to the chirping we normally hear from them, the song consists of a series of slow, rich, rolling notes, "cheer-up, cheerily, cheer-up, cheerily." Very few non-birders know who's sings this tune, and the beautiful song is all around us in the early mornings of the spring breeding period!
This grosbeak's song is "like a robin on speed," and is also delivered from the tops of trees. The birds are very common here during spring and summer, singing away on river bottoms and other brushy woodlands and forest edges. Fun fact: if the male is slacking in his nesting duties, the female will impersonate a marauding male to get him back on task!
The Cassin's Vireo's song is easily remembered: it sounds like it's asking itself questions, then answering them. They prefer the warm, dry forests of our interior, particularly if there are some oaks in the mix.
This tanager's song consists of several closely-spaced warbles, similar to the robin's song, but is just a smidge faster and more directly presented. They prefer mature forests away from the foggy coast, a delight to the eye and ear.
The Olive-sided Flycatcher's song is somewhat similar to a robin's song with its rich, rolling warbles, but this flycatcher's song has more variety in the notes.
This vireo has a slow warble similar to the Western Tanager, although a little more melodic, a variation on, "If I see it I will seize it and will squeeze it 'til it squirts ." They move into inland riparian areas and mixed evergreen forests with some tanoak understory for the spring and summer.
The bunting's song is a short phrase of warbled notes, usually pitching downwards. It's probably closest to resembling a House or Purple Finch, but rather than a jumble of notes, its usually just 3 or 4 different notes (out of over 100!), each repeated 2 to 5 times. They like warm, dry areas in open country as long as there are patches of brush.
The Purple Finch's song is a short burst of bubbly warbles, repeated from near feeders or higher in the trees. It's roughly similar to that of the Pacific Wren, but the finch usually sings from a high perch, whereas the wren sings from thick brush. Heard in the spring and summer.
The "Thick-billed" version of the Fox Sparrow (it's the one that moves into our mountains from the south for summer breeding) has a variable song that can start with some intro notes, followed by some nice warbling. (The Sooty, Red, and Slate-colored forms that overwinter here move north in summer).