Podcast

Listen to Every Pitch Change in a Pacific Wren Call

A blur of sound becomes a remarkably complex song when slowed down.

This audio story is brought to you by BirdNote, a partner of the National Audubon Society. BirdNote episodes air daily on public radio stations nationwide.

Listen carefully to the song of the Pacific Wren. 

What we hear as a blur of sound, the Pacific Wren hears as a precise sequence of sounds.  That birds can hear so acutely the fine structure of song allows them to convey much information in a short sound. “This is probably why," naturalist Rosemary Jellis writes, "even the most extensive bird songs seem so brief to us. 

Let's listen again, but this time with the song slowed down to one-quarter speed. 

Pacific Wrens may hear the song of other Pacific Wrens this way, enabling them to imitate each other. 

The same would be true for Winter Wrens of the eastern states and Eurasian Wrens.

Whatever the species, they remind us that creatures we share the world with, read and respond to nature in ways we sometimes cannot see or hear.

For BirdNote, I'm Mary McCann. 

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Producer: John Kessler 

Executive Producer: Chris Peterson

Written by Todd Peterson

Narrator: Mary McCann

BirdNote’s theme music was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler.

​Song of the Pacific Wren provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Recorded by G.A. Keller.

Bird Sounds and Their Meaning, by Rosemary Jellis, Cornell University Press, 1977.

© 2014 Tune In to Nature.org   October 2014/2017   ID#  PAWR-01-2012-10-21 (was 052305WIWR)    PAWR-01

 

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