13 Birds That Speak English

Many birds are named by the call they make. Chickadee and Phoebe come to mind.

Black-capped Chickadee
Eastern Phoebe

Some birds almost sound like they are saying something. For example the Long-tailed Duck keeps repeating “owl-omelet – owl-omelet.”

Long-tailed Ducks (male)

Learning a little phrase helps us to learn bird calls. When I tell groups that a bird is “saying something” I get confused looks. But with some imagination the following birds are “speaking.”

NORTHERN BOBWHITE

WHIP-POOR-WILL

KILLDEER

We hear a lot of “kill” in this video but no really good “kill-deer.”

CHUCK-WILL’S-WIDOW

OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER

This one repeats “Quick! Three Beers!” My grandmother preferred “Quick! Three Cheers!”‘

LEAST FLYCATCHER

“Quebec – Quebec – Quebec”

CAROLINA WREN

“Tea-kettle tea kettle tea kettle”

BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLER

“Cheese cheese cheese no more cheese”

BLACK-THROATED BLUE WARBLER

“Beer beer beer beeeee”

CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER

“Please please please to meet’cha”

COMMON YELLOWTHROAT

“Wichita Whicita Whicita”

OVENBIRD

“Teacher teacher teacher”

WHITE-THROATED SPARROW

“Dear sweet Canada Canada Canada”

In Québec it is ”Où es-tu ? Fréderic Fréderic Fréderic”

Miles Hearn

5 thoughts on “13 Birds That Speak English

  1. Catherine Gautry

    Thank you for these wonderful bird songs, Miles, and for teaching ways to recognize them, with some imagination. I found the last one more challenging: I could only hear four syllables. You must have a very good ear since you are a musician. I am sure it helps! Happy Easter and Happy Spring!

    Reply
  2. Marilyn Bunker

    Thank you Miles for a fun post. Oh how l wish that I had the ears that these birds would speak to me.

    Wishing you a happy Easter if you celebrate.
    All the best, Marilyn

    Reply
  3. debi

    thanks for these bird songs..will try to remember. I spent younger years in the Maritimes visiting my grandmother. The song of the white throated sparrow we called. “Old Tom Peepety Peepety”

    Reply
  4. Lisa Volkov

    Of course, I was expecting a bunch of parrots! I love it when you include bird song in your posts. This time, there were thirteen! Thanks, Miles!

    Reply
  5. Eugene k

    I’ve learned so much on your walks. Two things I’ll never forget are burnt cornflakes and “cherry cherry sweet”

    Reply

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