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Bird Song Mnemonics & Phonetics

Technically, mnemonics are gimmicks we use to remember songs and calls, while
phonetics are actually what the bird is saying. For example, pewees say
"pewee" and Phoebes say "phoebe" so those are phonetics. Barred owls say "who
cooks for you", but not really. That's a mnemonic. I think that we all use
the two interchangeably. There are also comparative sounds, i.e., when we
compare a song or call to something. For example, a red-breasted nuthatch
sounds like a tin horn or a common grackle sounds like a rusty pump handle.
Of course, all of this takes a great deal of imagination and creativity, but
that's the fun of it, right?


Blue Jay--"jay"
American Crow--"caw"
Carolina Chickadee--"feebee feebay, chick'adee-dee-dee"
Black-Capped Chickadee--"feebee"
Tufted Titmouse--"peter, peter, peter"
White-Breasted Nuthatch--"yank yank"
Brown-Headed Nuthatch--squeaky toy noises
Carolina Wren--"teakettle, teakettle, teakettle"
Mockingbird--phrases repeated 3 or more times
Brown Thrasher--phrases repeated 2 times
American Robin--"cheerup, cheerily, cheerily"
Eastern Bluebird--"cheer, cheerful, charmer"
Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher--"spee spee"
Red-eyed Vireo--"look-up, over-here, see-me, up-here"
Yellow-Throated Vireo--same as red-eyed but buzzier
Solitary Vireo--same as red-eyed but slower, sour
Northern Cardinal--"what-cheer', what-cheer', what-cheer'"
Rufous-Sided Towhee--"drink-your-teeee'"
White-Throated Sparrow--"poor Sam Pea'body, Pea'body, Pea'body"
American Goldfinch--"per-chik'-o-ree", "babeee'"


Great Crested--"creep, creep"
Eastern Phoebe--"fee'-be"
Eastern Wood Pewee--"pee-oo-wee"


Black-and-White--"wheezy, wheezy, wheezy"
Swainson's--"deeta deeta-whip'-poor-will"
Worm-Eating--insect-like, dry trill
Golden-Winged--"bzz- bzz, bzz, bzz"
Yellow--"sweet sweet sweet, I'm so sweet"
Black-Throated-Green--"zay zay zay zoo zee"
Black-Throated Blue--"I am lazeee"
Chestnut-Sided--"please, please, please to meet'cha"
Ovenbird--"teach teach teach teach"
Kentucky--"toree' toree' toree'"
Hooded--"wheeta wheeta wheet'eo"


Bee-buzz--Blue-winged Warbler
Bee-buzz-buzz or Bee-buzz-buzz-buzz--Golden-winged Warbler
Beeer--Common Nighthawk
I am lazeee or beer beer beer beeee--Black-throated Blue Warbler
Che-bek--Least Flycatcher
Chink--Blue Grosbeak
Chup-chup TZEeeee---Seaside Sparrow
Cu-cu-cu--Black-billed Cuckoo
Fee-bee-o--Alder Flycatcher
Fitz-bew--Willow Flycatcher
Hip-hip-hurrah--King Rail
Jeeee---Wood Duck
Ka ka ka...kowp kowp kowp--Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Keeeeer--Common Tern and Forster's Tern
Kid-ik, kid-ik, kid-ik--Virginia Rail
Kip...kip--Common Moorhen
Peent--Common Nighthawk
Peet-suh--Acadian Flycatcher
Peet-weet--Spotted Sandpiper
Please please pleased to meet'cha--Chestnut-sided Warbler
Quick, three beers--Olive-sided Flycatcher
Scaipe--Common Snipe
See-bit see-bit see-bit, see-see-see-see--Nashville Warbler
See-see-see-sisi-see--Brown Creeper
Speee speee--Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Tee-shaay--Sharp-tailed Sparrow
Tee-si, tee-si, tee-si--Bay-breasted Warbler
Tic-tic, tic-tic-tic--Yellow Rail
Tika, tika, tika-swee, swee, swee-chay, chay, chay--Tennessee Warbler
Vee-a--Gray-cheeked Thrush
Weeta-weeta-weeteo--Magnolia Warbler
Weet-weet-weet-weet--Spotted Sandpiper
Whit, whit--Swainson's Thrush
Zweet-zweet-zweet--Prothonotary Warbler
Yank, yank, yank--White-breasted Nuthatch
A-weet, a-weet, a-weet-teo--Hooded Warbler
Bob white, bob white--Northern Bobwhite
Bubble, bubble, zee--Brown-headed Cowbird
Caw, caw, caw--American Crow
What-cheer, what-cheer, what-cheer, or cheer, cheer, cheer--Northern Cardinal
Cheerily, cheer-up, cheerily--American Robin
Chick-a-dee-dee-dee--Carolina Chickadee
Chip-burr--Scarlet Tanager
Chick-per-a-weeo-chick or chick-per-a-weeo--White-eyed Vireo
Chink--Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Chiva, chiva, chiva or Peter, peter, peter--Tufted Titmouse
Churr, churr, churr--Red-bellied Woodpecker
Chur-ry, chur-ry, chur-ry--Kentucky Warbler
Chur-wee or Cheer, cheerful charmer--Eastern Bluebird
Conquereee--Red-winged Blackbird
Drink-your-teeeee--Rufous-sided Towhee
Dtzee, dtzee, dtzeet--Eastern Kingbird
Ee-o-lay--Wood Thrush
Fee-bee, or Fee-blee--Eastern Phoebe
Fee-bee fee-bay--Carolina Chickadee
Here, here, here--Tufted Titmouse
Here I am, over here, see me, where are you--Red-eyed Vireo
Jay, jay, jay--Blue Jay
Keeeeeer--Red-tailed Hawk
Kee-yer, kee-yer, kee-yer--Red-shouldered Hawk
Kik, kik, kik--Pileated Woodpecker
Kill-dee, kill-dee, kill-dee--Killdeer
Kleeyer--Northern Flicker
Who cooks for you, who cooks for you'all--Barred Owl
Maids, maids, maids, put on your tea, kettle, kettle, kettle--Song Sparrow
Meeoow--Gray Catbird
Poor Sam Peabody, Peabody, Peabody--White-throated Sparrow
Pee-a-wee or pee-ee--Eastern Wood-Pewee
Peeeeeeeeee--Broad-winged Hawk
Peent, peent, peent--American Woodcock
Peet-suh--Acadian Flycatcher
Perchickaree or Babeee--American Goldfinch
Chicki-tuki-tuck--Summer Tanager
Plink, plink--Bobolink
Wheep, wheep--Great Crested Flycatcher
Purty, purty, purty--Northern Cardinal
Queedle, queedle, queedle---Blue Jay
Queer, queer--Red-headed Woodpecker
Skeeow--Green Heron
Spring of the year--Eastern Meadowlark
Sweet, sweet, sweet, I'm so sweet--Yellow Warbler
Teacher, teacher, teacher--Ovenbird
Tea-kettle, tea-kettle, tea-kettle--Carolina Wren
Three-a, three-a--Yellow-throated Vireo
Tow-weeee--Rufous-sided Towhee
Tseer, tseer--Red-winged Blackbird
Tzee, tzee, tzee, tzeeo--American Redstart
Weesa, weesa, weesa--Black-and-white Warbler
Wheer--Orchard Oriole
Are you awake? me too--Great Horned Owl
Wicka, wicka, wicka--Northern Flicker
Witchety, witchety, witchety--Common Yellowthroat
Trees, trees, murmuring trees, or Zay, zay, zay, zoo, zee--Black-throated
Green Warbler
Zeee, zeee--Cedar Waxwing
Zree--House Finch
Zeeeee-up--Northern Parula

List compiled by:
Georgann Schmalz
Atlanta, Ga.
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