Do you want to try to guess which species of birds they are?
I'll reveal the answers at the end of this post.
[If you're reading this in an e-mail, click on the title of the post above to go directly to the website to see the audio files.]
Be sure to turn up the volume of your speakers. (Listening with headphones is even better.)
Here's Sound 1. There are some background sounds, but listen for the hollow, knocking notes. You'll hear three different series of these notes — at about 3 seconds, 10 seconds, and 16 seconds.
Here's Sound 2. In this case you'll also hear three different series of notes, but this time the notes are loud whistles and gurgles.
Here's Sound 3. There's some background sound, but focus on the clear, whistled note. You'll hear the note five times — at about 1, 4, 6, 9, and 11 seconds.
Okay, are you ready for the answers?
Sound 1: Common Raven (Corvus corvax). This is sometimes referred to as a percussion-like call. Some liken it to a drumming woodpecker. It's apparently only given by females.
Sound 2: Western Meadowlark (Sturnella neglecta). An impressive vocal array.
Sound 3: Loggerhead Shrike (Lanius ludovicianus). I don't know much about shrike vocalizations, but I was intrigued by this beautiful call note. I couldn't find a good written description of it, and only came across one other recording that was somewhat similar. Have you heard shrikes calling like this? Is it a sound that just hasn't been described very well? Or is there geographical variation in shrike call notes?
Now that you've heard the shrike, here are two pictures of the individual that was calling: