North American Bird Sounds


PELECANIFORMES (Pelicans, etc.)
CICONIIFORMES (Waders/Vultures)
GRUIFORMES (Rails, etc.)
APODIFORMES (Hummers/Swifts)
PICIFORMES (Woodpeckers)
PASSERIFORMES (Perching Birds, Song Birds)
MYSTERY BIRDS (Can you help?)

On these pages are the sounds of North American birds (Costa Rican birds have their own page, below) - not just bird calls or bird songs, but all the sounds birds make, such as wing sounds and bill rattles. Since most bird species use different vocalizations for different circumstances, I've tried to tell you what the bird was doing at the time of the recording. It has become even more obvious to me during this project that a bird's vocalizations can be nearly as complex in the information they contain as our own. Individuals of a species sing different songs with different "words" and "phrases" than another individual, and the same species from different territories sing about different things in different ways.

One of my ongoing trials is what to call the sounds birds make. They sing, they talk, they whinny and squawk and squeak. They chip and chirp and chack, and the cry and crow and caw. Some ducks quack, some whistle, some peep or screech. Some birds bark or croak or grunt or grumble. Many species, at one time or another mutter and mumble and whisper. You could fill volumes, write epic speeches and set up courses for online universities based on the sounds our amazing feathered friends make. I find myself making up onomatopoeic names like "Chack" and "Pipe" and "Chuckerring". Flickers have a "Klear" call, Great Blue Herons "Gronk". If you have a name for some bird's sound, share it with me - some day I'll write a bird call thesaurus!

Most files are in Windows WAV or MP3 format, and all have been edited for file size and clarity. Many have been filtered in ways which do not affect the bird's song, but which may highlight the important parts of the sample. A few samples have been reduced to 8-bit resolution and all have been "downsampled" from their original 44.1 Khz to save bandwidth and therefore reduce loading times. More exacting sound enthusiasts are encouraged to contact me for larger, unedited and unfiltered versions of these sounds.

Remember, all sound clips are copyrighted to Doug Von Gausig and, 2001-present. Non-commercial use is usually granted freely, but must be in writing from the author. Commercial use is expressly forbidden without prior written consent (see our Licensing Page.

A Word About Peck's Lake and Tavasci Marsh
You'll notice that many of my recordings were done at or near Peck's Lake, in Clarkdale, Arizona. There is a reason I'm working there so much. The lake is owned by the Phelps-Dodge Mining Company, and was a recreational lake for the miners and employees of the copper smelter here in Clarkdale until the mines in Jerome, Arizona, closed in 1953. The lake is fed from the Verde River, and now represents one of the finest wetlands in Central Arizona. It attracts birds from all over the flyway, and provides breeding environments for literally hundreds of species of birds, mammals, insects and fish. The lake is now in danger. At the East end of Peck's Lake lies Tavasci Marsh, an extremely rare (in Arizona) spring-fed marsh. The springs issue forth warm (68F/20C) water all year long. This marsh is the home to the recently discovered population of endangered Yuma Clapper Rails, which also inhabit the marshy parts of Peck's Lake. It is currently being restored to its original wetland state, under a cooperative agreement between Phelps Dodge and The Arizona Game & Fish Commission. Tavasci Marsh is open to the public for nature study, bird watching, and hiking. Access is by way of a path from Tuzigoot National Monument in Clarkdale, or a path from Dead Horse State Park, in Cottonwood. There is no vehicular access at present.

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