Black-capped Chickadee illustration from P. Taverner’s 1921 edition of the Birds of Eastern Canada Field Guide.


Day 8 of 100 days of Blogging

Today we feature 10 birds that get  their names from the sound of their vocalizations. Play the media file below each  photo to hear a bird’s call.

Thanks to Gayle G. for suggesting today’s topic!


American Pipit |Pipit d’Amerique|Anthus rubescens

Family: Motacillidae

The American Pipit’s call is a quick and dry “pip-it.”

black-billed-cuckoo2 By Wolfgang Wander (colors adjusted by Skiessi) - http://www.pbase.com/wwcsig/image/43413771, CC BY-SA 2.5

Black-billed Cuckoo|Coulicou à bec noir|Coccyzus erythropthalmus

Family: Cuculidae  

Call A fast rhythmic series of from two to five notes on the same pitch, with a brief pause between each set: “cu-cu-cu-cu, cu-cu-cu-cu”

black-capped-chickadee-ConnieMorgenternBlack-capped Chickadee|Mésange à tête noire|Poecile atricapillus 

Family: Paridae

Chickadees make their chickadee-dee-dee call using increasing numbers of dee notes when they are alarmed.

chuck-wills-widow_rwd7By DickDaniels (http://carolinabirds.org/) - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Chuck-will’s-widow |Engoulevent de Caroline |Antrostomus carolinensis

Family: Caprimulgidae

Call a loud “Chuck-will’s-widow,” with the first “chuck” being quiet and inaudible at a distance.

dickcisselBy RebelAt at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0Dickcissel|Dickcissel d’Amerique|Spiza americana

Family: Cardinalidae

Song a simple, dry, “dick, dick, ciss, ciss, ciss.” Call a dry “chek.” Flight call a short, buzzy “fpppt,” like a Bronx cheer.

Eastern PhoebeBy Soerfm - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Eastern Phoebe|Moucherolle phébi|Sayornis phoebe

Family: Tyrannidae

Males sing a raspy, two-parted song that gives them their name: “fee-bee.”

eastern-wood-peweeBy Alejandro Bayer Tamayo from Armenia, Colombia - Contopus virens Eastern-Wood-pewee|Pioui de l’Est |Contopus virens

Family: Tyrannidae

The Eastern Wood-Pewee has  several  calls but when disturbed gives a shrill peeee .

Killdeer, Albert Head Lagoon, Metchosin, Near Victoria, British ColumbiaBy Alan D. Wilson - naturespicsonline.com

Killdeer|Pluvier kildir|Charadrius vociferus

Family: Charadriidae

Most noticeable among the Killdeer’s many calls is the high, plaintive kill-deer the bird is named for.


Eastern Whip-poor-will|Engoulevent bois-pourri|Antrostomus vociferus

Family: Caprimulgidae

The male’s haunting whip-poor-will can sometimes keep going and  going and…. going.  Sometimes continuing for hours, it is for many people a classic summer memory. 

 Click to view all  photo, audio and video credits for media on this page