Bird calls are vocalizations used by birds to identify themselves and communicate with others. They can be formed by the syrinx or mechanically, and can be used for mating, warning, or maintaining contact. Bird calls are used for identification and research, and some birds can mimic other species’ calls. Hunters use bird calls to lure birds, especially ducks, and use devices like duck calls to create different calls.
A bird call is the distinct vocalization a bird species makes to identify itself with others of its kind. t is a shorter vocalization, in contrast to a birdsong, which is a longer collection of vocalizations. Usually a bird uses a bird’s song for mating purposes, while a call can be used to warn a group of something, to express alarm, or simply to maintain contact with other members of a flock.
A bird call can be formed by the bird vocally, through an organ called a syrinx. The syrinx sits at the bottom of the trachea and resonates, often together with a pocket of air, to create sound. Both sides of the windpipe can be manipulated independently, allowing some birds to create two distinct sounds simultaneously. A booster can also be formed strictly by mechanical means, completely bypassing the syringe. A well-known example of this can be seen in many storks, which produce a call by snapping their bills back and forth against themselves.
Many people learn the different types of bird calls as a way to identify birds without seeing them. This can be done for hobbyists who are trying to find birds, or it can be done for research or monitoring purposes, such as when trying to determine the existence or size of rare bird populations in an area. There are a huge number of resources available to help people learn different callings, ranging from CDs and books to websites with catalogs of hundreds or thousands of callings.
Birds can have a wide range of types of bird calls and songs, with some, such as the Brown Thrasher, having as many as three thousand. A number of birds, particularly thrushes, will acquire another bird’s call over time, mimicking it to some degree, though not well enough to generally fool members of the other species. Most birds acquire birdsong within about a month, although some may learn a little faster and others may take much longer.
A bird’s call can also be used by hunters as a way to lure birds nearby for shooting. This is especially common in duck hunting, where the hunters get into blinds or camouflage and make a call to bring the ducks within range. This type of bird call is usually accomplished with a physical device, known as a duck call, which was traditionally a woodwind, although more advanced versions now exist. Different species of duck can have quite different calls, so hunters usually learn the bird call that is best suited to the species they are hunting. A simple duck call is capable of many different calls, and there are eight standard calls in the repertoire of most hunters: the quack, the whistle, the begging call, the back call, the meal call, the call of the hail, the lonely hen and the greeting call. Some newer duck calls can automatically make these various sounds perfectly in tune, eliminating the need to learn how to actually create them yourself.