Boidnoise Various nature recordings by Bernhard Kroeger

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  • Western Tanager (Piranga ludoviciana) Song and Calls

    Male Western Tanager (Piranga ludoviciana) Photo © Walt Carnahan

    The male western tanager is a strikingly handsome western bird.   Despite its bright red, yellow, and black coloration it is surprisingly hard to see as it forages in the crowns of open coniferous and mixed forests.  Like many birds it is much easier to hear.  Often a quick, rising “kbrick” call from high in the trees indicates the presence of this species.  During the breeding season the deliberately phrased song is common.  Each song phrase consists of evenly spaced 2 syllable elements, often with a rising, followed by a falling ending, giving it a lilting sing-song characteristic.  A phrase can be started with the “kbrick” call and erases all doubt as to the identity of the singer.  This can be heard at 6sec, 1min13sec and 1min21sec in the following recording.  The song of the western tanager also has a rough “burry” quality, totally different of the clear, sweet, voice of the American robin, whose song can be mistaken for the tanager’s.

    This recording was made on May 18, 2010 at 0550 when the morning chorus was in full swing.  Singing in the background are primarily Black-headed Grossbeaks (Pheucticus melanocephalus) and an occasional Nashville Warbler (Vermivora ruficapilla).

    Telinga dish with PIP-4 mic into an Olympus LS-11 recorder.  The file has been edited for length and is otherwise just as recorded without any other processing.

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    Sometimes a bird will sit and just repeat the “kbrick” call and never launch into song.  The following file is a series of 5 calls with the timing intact.

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