Forum home Wildlife gardening

Whose Song?

I genuinely know little about birds, especially their songs, and there's one I keep hearing but all attempts on YouTube have failed to identify it. The only way I can describe it is that it sounds like tickety boo (or at least the rhythm is the same). Is this familiar to anyone?
«13

Posts

  • B3B3 Posts: 21,468
    Pigeon?
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • wild edgeswild edges The north west of south east WalesPosts: 7,508
    It's actually really hard because birds have songs, calls and other sounds that youngsters make when chasing their parents around for food. I've found the only real way to learn them is to find the bird making the sounds. Once you've seen and heard them a few times it will click and I find it really easy to remember the birds from their sounds after that.
    Otherwise the RSPB website is great for sound samples along with bird profiles but most websites will concentrate on songs rather than the other sounds.
    A great library has something in it to offend everybody.
  • @B3 Definitely not a pigeon, too high a register.

    @wild edges I'm pretty sure there's not much chance of finding the bird, there's a lot of very big trees in my vincinity. There's an abundance of sparrows, dunnocks and blackbirds in my garden (pigeons don't count) but that's about it at the moment.

    Alas the RSPB website didn't come up with anything.
  • FireFire LondonPosts: 14,009
    It's tricky as something like a great tit or a green finch can change pattern a lot. I have one I call the 'Hong Kong Phooey' bird that I can't name.

    At least you know if has four notes to the pattern, and that is helpful. That narrows it down. Great tits and chiff chaffs have two have two, collared doves three, wood pigeons five. I'll keep an ear out for a four.
  • tlchimeratlchimera South WalesPosts: 51
    I use an app called "birdnet" that records the birds singing and then identifies it. Seems pretty accurate. 
  • ButtercupdaysButtercupdays Posts: 3,997
    I have lots of birds and lots of birdsong but I can only identify relatively few songs. The birds are always in trees or bushes, either hidden or just silhouettes, or too far away and they are guaranteed to move before I can focus the binocs!
    The birds of the air, like the buzzards and curlew are easy because you can see them to match them to their calls.
    I know the robins', because they are kind enough to sit still and visible, and the blackbird's fruity tones and the thrush because 'That's the wise thrush, he sings each song twice over'. I know the great tit's annoying call "sip it, sip it" and the wren's frantic machine like clicking when he sees a cat. I can distinguish the raven's 'cronk' from the crow's 'caw' and tell the stock doves' deep 'hur, hur,' cooing from the wood pigeon's "Take two teas Tommy, take two!"
    There are other songs I hear regularly and recognise but cannot match to a singer for certain, though I'm almost there on the chaffinch and the other songs are most likely other finches.  Some are easy, like the cuckoo, peewit and chiffchaff as they are named for their song and I often while away the time when weeding trying to fit words to others. It can be fun. Last year's blackbird was into gossip  - "Did 'e do it, did 'e do it? 'oos a naughty boy?", while this year's is more romantically inclined - "See you, pretty birdie, I saved a seat for you!", or sometimes - "I've got a treat for you!". :)
     

  • WoodgreenWoodgreen Posts: 635
    I have lots of birds and lots of birdsong but I can only identify relatively few songs. The birds are always in trees or bushes, either hidden or just silhouettes, or too far away and they are guaranteed to move before I can focus the binocs!
    The birds of the air, like the buzzards and curlew are easy because you can see them to match them to their calls.
    I know the robins', because they are kind enough to sit still and visible, and the blackbird's fruity tones and the thrush because 'That's the wise thrush, he sings each song twice over'. I know the great tit's annoying call "sip it, sip it" and the wren's frantic machine like clicking when he sees a cat. I can distinguish the raven's 'cronk' from the crow's 'caw' and tell the stock doves' deep 'hur, hur,' cooing from the wood pigeon's "Take two teas Tommy, take two!"
    There are other songs I hear regularly and recognise but cannot match to a singer for certain, though I'm almost there on the chaffinch and the other songs are most likely other finches.  Some are easy, like the cuckoo, peewit and chiffchaff as they are named for their song and I often while away the time when weeding trying to fit words to others. It can be fun. Last year's blackbird was into gossip  - "Did 'e do it, did 'e do it? 'oos a naughty boy?", while this year's is more romantically inclined - "See you, pretty birdie, I saved a seat for you!", or sometimes - "I've got a treat for you!". :)
     

    I'm so glad it's not just me who can hear the blackbirds ' talking'!
    I was beginning to wonder.....
    This season is a topical " I've had me hair done" (we are Northerners) and an encouraging "Take your time" as I am working on something.....
    The wood pigeons "We don't like custard....we don't like custard.....we don't like custard....NO!" was getting a bit repetitive until recently, when it changed to "We don't like rugby league....we don't like rugby league.....".etc.

  • NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen Spain.Posts: 5,634
    You do really have to see the bird to help identify who is singing, be with someone who knows or be lucky enough to see and hear it on Springwatch! I have The Collins Bird Guide ap on my ipad and it’s great. It has the geographical range of the birds at different times of the year, photos of various plumages according to sex, age, etc., and recordings of the songs and calls. It has a good search facility, but you need some visual information - say you spot a yellow bird singing, you can search for yellow birds in your geographical area, check what’s there at the right time of year then listen to the songs. 
  • FireFire LondonPosts: 14,009
    edited June 2021
    For overall bird sounds learning - I would get to know five most common and then slowly build from there. Start with say, blackbird, wren, robin, swift, great tit.

    Break it down; trying to loads at once doesn't work, I think.

    A bit like other animal ID skills, it takes a while to make categories in your mind - but after a bit you might find you can ID more corvid-type sounds, warbler-ish sounds, thrush group - which ones are more of a fixed pattern and which chatter, which sing changing arias and which caw.

    As Mr Wild says, it gets confusing because many individual birds have alarm calls, calls to young, songs and variants which can all sound quite different.
  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 20,121
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=d114DgEf5uU

    Not an answer to your question, but a lovely hour of relaxing birdsong to listen to.


    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
Sign In or Register to comment.