Bird Sounds

Pictures and recordings: Paweł Szczepaniak ©

Birds make a variety of sounds in order to inform the surrounding about the existing situation. Mating sounds, that is songs, often very elaborate, are emitted mainly by males. With mating and territorial sounds, they try to attract mates, advertise their territory, and discourage intruders. Sounds made by birds are also used to communicate, to “talk” with members of a bird family or flock. These are contact and alarm calls. Contact calls are used to call on individuals of the same species and to keep members of a flock in contact. Alarm calls are a reaction to danger; they can be a warning for nestlings or other flock members, and sometimes, even individuals of other species. In most cases, to make sounds, birds use a special organ situated at the base of the trachea, where it divides into two bronchi. This organ is called the syrinx or the lower larynx. Some birds make non-verbal sounds known as mechanical or instrumental. To provide an example, it is not the syrinx but the bill that is used by storks to produce clattering. Similarly, the woodpecker drumming is made when the bill pecks on a branch or a trunk rapidly. Wings and feathers are also used to make sounds. Some species of birds, such as the Long-eared Owl, clasp their wings. In the mating season, the male Snipe, circles high over a territory, then, diving towards earth, it spreads rectrices, and thus, its characteristic “bleating” is produced.
We encourage you to watch and listen to the birds that you can meet while walking down the trails of the Świętokrzyski National Park and its vicinity.