Pitch, and bird song identification

Pitch is simply our perception of the frequency (or wavelength) of a sound, which we describe as high to low. Birds’ range of hearing is similar to our own, and bird song covers the full range to the limits of human hearing, from the lowest hooting sounds of Great Gray Owl or Spruce Grouse to the highest songs of Blackburnian Warbler or Golden-crowned Kinglet.

Most bird vocalizations are complex, and cover a wide range of frequencies, and there is often considerable variation in pitch within a species, making it hard to use pitch alone as an identification clue. Even so, the actual pitch of a bird sound is useful for getting into the right “ballpark” for identification.

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1 thought on “Pitch, and bird song identification”

  1. Can you identify this bird call for me please. I live in central Wisconsin. It is now mid April. This is a wooded country area of mostly pine.. I would like to know what the bird is that has two short upward sliding whistles G slides up to B and ends on A and usually but not always to be followed by 1-5 staccato notes in the key of A. It is elluding me in the trees and may be migratory.

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