If you're interested in using any of these photographs in any way, please contact me. Send an e-mail to naturalhistoryphotos(at)gmail.com. Thanks!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

So many songs

Remember the Marsh Wren photos from early January?  (If not, this is one of them and you can review others here.)

Last week I recorded a Marsh Wren singing just before dark.  Below is an audio file so you can hear its complex song sequence. 

A single Marsh Wren song only lasts 1-2 seconds.  But an individual Marsh Wren has a very large song repertoire and may sing over 100 different song types.  And they often sing one song after another after another.  According to the Birds of North America account, the highest rate of singing is about 20 songs per minute.

If you're not familiar with it, a Marsh Wren song might sound a little unusual at first.  It's made up of short notes and buzzy trills and squeaks and gurgles.  And each time the wren sings it puts all of those components together in a different way.

When you listen to this recording, there are a few different things you can do.  Appreciate the diversity of Marsh Wren songs.  Count the total number of songs in the recording.  Choose your favorite song.  And listen to see if you think any of the songs repeat.  (This is like trying to find two snowflakes that look alike!).  Remember to turn up your volume.  I found it easier to appreciate these songs by closing my eyes when listening to them.

mawr by nhbh

I counted fourteen songs during this minute and a half recording.  I didn't hear any songs that repeated, but it was challenging to know for sure.  Later I read that Marsh Wrens might not repeat a song until after 5-6 minutes have gone by, so it's probably not surprising that there aren't any repeat songs in this short recording.  It's interesting to wonder about why Marsh Wrens sing so many different songs!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

the band is awfully loud in the background !!! c