Urban Bird Songs & Calls
If you live near a grove of redwoods or near one of Eureka's gulches, you'll also want to consider looking at the "Redwoods/Residential Mix" category
Their song is a series of warbled notes, often with a buzzy "zeeee" at the end or mixed into the phrase. It's generally delivered at a slower pace than that of the Purple Finch, its country cousin.
Photographs of birds will be added to this space!
The song of Anna's Hummingbird is a buzzy, scratchy business, often delivered from a perch on the top of a bush or tree where it can watch over its flowery food source.
These birds are thick in coastal residential areas, repeating the same short phrase endlessly. Their song almost always starts with a single long note followed by by a short burst of buzzy trills and ending in another, shorter held note. If you drive around Eureka with your windows down in the spring and summer, the number of these birds singing makes it feel like one of them is following you around!
Song consists of phrases that start with 2 or 3 short, similar notes followed closely by a fast, varied trill. "Madge-Madge-Madge, put-on-your-tea-kettle-ettle-ettle." Year-round but strong in April through July, and thick all over HumCo. IF A SONG STARTS WITH THE SAME 2 OR 3 NOTES, THINK SONG SPARROW!
The "cheep cheep" of its location call goes on all year while it's hunting food in the brush, and after late July, it no longer sings until next year's breeding season. That leaves us to enjoy this call, imagining April rolling around again with this and all the other birds' mate attraction/territorial sounds firing back up.
The House Sparrow is a non-native from Eurasia and is pretty much everywhere people are living and/or working. Pretty boring song (sorry, House Sparrow), "chirp chirp cheep cheep." I've always called these McDonalds Sparrows due to being omni-present in fast food parking lots.
This is the "cluck cluck" call of the American Robin. They also have a beautiful song that they deliver from tall trees in the spring breeding season. Despite the Robin being incredibly ubiquitous, that song is rarely associated with the bird.
This robin's song consists of a series of slow, rich, rolling notes delivered from a tree top: "cheer-up, cheerily, cheer-up, cheerily." The song is extremely common in the early morning and late evening in the spring and early summer, but few people know who's delivering the music due to the tree-top location!
Crows and ravens are both found in town, but the crows tend to be more common in the urban settings. Crows are smaller-bodied and beaked, their calls a little less weighty than the ravens'.
Steller's Jays have a variety of squawking calls, along with a variety of other calls, including a rapid, unnerving rattle.
This phoebe's "song" is a sharp, repeated "tutseer," repeated from its various favorite perches as it watches for insects, going after them in quick swoops year-round. They're usually found near water, but a pair consistently nested in the back parking lot of Eureka High the many years I worked there.
There are 2 species of chickadees that you might see in town, especially if you're near trees or water: the Black-capped and the Chestnut-backed. They both have a fussy chatter within their groups, but the Black-capped has the descending "fee-bee-bee" song that sounds like it's saying "cheese-burg-er.....cheese-burg-er" (recording #1), while the Chestnut-backed does not. Visually, the Black-capped is gray on the its back, whereas the Chestnut-backed is, well, chestnut brown on its back. You can't miss the difference if you look!