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Ovenbird Seiurus aurocapillus

Flight call description An explosive, piercing, slightly rising "seet" with a faintly sibilant quality. Sometimes a more abrupt "pseek".


Fig.1. Maryland October 1, 1994 (MO).  

Bird in flight with Eastern Towhee calling in the background.


Examples     Diurnal     Nocturnal


Similar species Blue-winged and Golden-winged Warblers are less piercing and often buzzier. Yellow-rumped Warbler is typically lower. Vesper and White-crowned Sparrows are typically longer. See Prothonotary and Swainson's Warblers and short rising seeps.


Behavior Primarily a nocturnal migrant but engages in limited redetermined migration. Gives flight call regularly while perched and in flight during the day, and during nocturnal migration. Gives flight song occasionally in nocturnal migration, particularly near breeding habitat.


Spectrographic description Measured calls (N=6) were 40.1-51.8 (45.4) mS in duration and in the 6.2-9.4 (6.8-8.6) kHz frequency range. The frequency track was single-banded and variable. Most often is was seahorse-shaped with an initial short upward-arched segment followed by a longer rising and typically downward-arched segment. Calls were modulated in the second part of the call with a spacing of 4.7-6.3 (5.6) mS between humps and a depth of 300-500 (400) Hz.


Discussion See Tyler (1916) for an interesting story of deciphering the identity of Ovenbird's flight call in nocturnal migration.