The trill of the Swainson’s Thrush https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lpLnRUnoJNQ
The Song of the Goldfinch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_bG0NslD3HM
Some of my favorites for sure, but the best for me, is best described as the squeak of a frightened mouse on a cartoon.. for the longest time I could not figure out what made the sounds, once I did I was astonished! The Anna’s hummingbird mating dive… and the sound isn’t from his mouth! Quite the Opposite! OK not truly the opposite, but close enough! It’s from the tail feathers as they flare out at the end of it’s high speed dive bomb run.
I don’t know how accurate this is, but in my observations, they do this dive bomb for both attracting females as well as to notify other males that this is their territory. The runs differ slightly and I’m sure the pitch or the tone of the squeal are different to a hummer, but to me it’s too close to call.
When the male sees a female in it’s territory, it will wait for her to be stationary , either on a branch or a feeder, he will then zoom up, at ludicrous speed, high up in the air, then squeak and squawk their intentions from on high, then into a blurring dive at over 45 miles per hour (that is fast for a teensy tiny bird!) they come within inches of the other bird and pull up out of the dive at an insane angle, at the same time they flare out their tails and make the sound of a rodent in the grips of an owl. They will repeat this until the female leaves or , in the case of another male, they usually follow it up with an attack if the warning was not heeded!
So my favorite sound of Spring? It’s the dive of the Anna’s Hummingbird!
Here’s an attempt at a video, this act is nearly impossible to catch with a point and shoot…
There’s a female on the feeder at the start, the male does a dive and shoots up in the air, calling and talking, then dives some more, at the end the female doesn’t move, so I assume she approves, the male sits in the tree gloating and then…..she met another and ppphhffffth she was gone…
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