Glossary Species Home
The "descending seep" group is a large species complex in eastern North America whose flight calls are above 6KHz in frequency and are descending in pitch. The members of this group are listed in the table above. While all these species' flight calls share a descending characteristic and can be very difficult to distinguish, they each possess a number of features that may help in species identification. Calls vary in duration, pitch, character of descent, and average volume. Also useful for identification are the somewhat subjective characters such as tinny or lisping qualities. Playing the calls in the table above may help reveal some of these characteristics.
When listening to descending seeps, the flight call of Savannah Sparrow provides a good standard for comparison. Savannah Sparrow is a wide-ranging species whose flight call is commonly heard across eastern North America and is relatively distinctive. Its call is intermediate in length within the descending seep group. For example, the descending seeps of warblers are all distinctly shorter than Savannah, and most of the other sparrows with descending seeps are distinctly longer than Savannah.
In the table above we have tried to include calls that reveal the range of variation for each species. However, for some species, our lack of diurnal flight call examples limits our ability to do this.