Learn How to Identify a Bird Song From Home

The sound of birds signing can help you relax and also entertain and sooth the mind. Therefore, we want to share with you how you can identify bird songs from the window of your own house.
Learn How to Identify a Bird Song From Home

Last update: 16 June, 2020

Even in urban areas, bird song has always been part of our lives. However, with the sounds of traffic and the rat race we live in, they have often gone unnoticed.

Here’s a little more about the fascinating world of bird songs. Plus, we’ll give you some keys for you to learn how to identify them from your home!

Bird song: A bird’s voice

In the world of birds, the term “vocalization” refers to any sound they emit through their special organ: the syrinx, which is located in the trachea.

This apparatus is so sophisticated in some birds that the air’s direction in the windpipe can be distributed independently in its two halves. Therefore, they are able to produce two musical notes at once. Amazing, isn’t it?

The difference between a “bird song” and a “bird call” is arbitrary. However, in general, it is understood that bird songs are usually longer in duration and more complex. On the other hand, a bird’s call tends to be the opposite, since they use them to alert or communicate with other birds in a short and concise way.

The singing of birds is usually more musical and sophisticated within the Passeriform order such as the sparrow, the goldfinch, and the canary.

These sounds are emitted mostly by males, and their purpose is usually a sexual call for mating. There are several hypotheses for the origins of birdsong:

  • The main hypothesis is that bird singing has emerged in response to natural sexual selection. Many studies have shown that the type of singing can correlate with the bird’s strength. Factors such as duration, pitch, complex notes, and rhythm inform females of the male’s quality without even seeing it.
  • Other hypotheses say that singing can be a sign of the animal’s health status. A sick or parasitized bird will expend much of its energy combating the disease and, therefore, its songs will be of lower quality and less dominant. Females thus learn to avoid these candidates and the risk of getting sick from contact.

Keys to identifying bird songs

  • The first step is to find a quiet and calm area in your house. If you have an interior courtyard or live in a community, it will always be better to focus your attention on the areas that are farthest from roads and human structures.
  • Secondly, you need to learn which species are commonly based on your location and the season you’re currently in. Depending on the community and the area you live in, the birds that will delight you with their songs may vary.
  • If you suspect that a certain species of bird is in your area, you only have to check its habitat and distribution to confirm it.
  • Last but not least, have a source of information at hand that collects songs of the different bird species. This way you can get acquainted with them. Here we leave you a website that has collected songs from some American bird species.
  • Once you memorize a bird song from a specific species, you’ll be ready to identify it by ear! If you’re lucky enough to have some binoculars, you can even put a face to your friendly concert singer.
A singing bird on a tree.


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