Bird dialects?

The robin that sings outside my window mornings, here, 150 miles from my home town, seems to sing a slightly different song from thoes at home. Could it be that robins have “accents” differing from place to place? Or does the one I am now hearing have a “tweet” impediment? Looking forward to Papabears 1000th!

The Teeming Millionth

It is amazing that I was thinking this same thing this morning. I first noticed this when I was very young and moved from California to the midwest. The meadowlarks’ song was somehow different. I since forgot about it, (maybe just passed it off to a different species of meadowlark). Recently I just came back from N. Dakota where I noticed the mourning doves are just a little different. The last is song more rapidly there. (here there is a longer pause before the last note.) I was hoping myself to get a National Geo grant to travel the country and note these differences. Has it already been done?

Yes, it has been done. Birds do speak different dialects in different areas. It’s believed to be dependent on where birds spend the first years of their life.

Robins migrate so spend time here & somewhere in the south. Do all the robins that summer in my area go to the same wintering places? It is only 6 weeks until they here in western PA head south! Always a sad time for me…Carl

According to my National Geographic field guide of North American birds, the Western meadowlark’s song is a “variable series of bubbling, flutelike notes”, while the Eastern meadowlark’s is a “clear, whistled see-you see-yeeer”. However, the ranges overlap in North Dakota, so I’m not sure which species you were seeing there.

We only have species of robin commonly found in North America, but the song does vary by location, and seems to be set by adulthood. Also robins, like most songbirds, have a “call” which is quite different from their “song”.

As he succeeds, he takes no credit. And it is just for that reason that credit never leaves him.
– Lao Tzu, Tao Teh Ching