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Unusually melodic blackbird

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Old Saturday 18th April 2020, 21:20   #1
dmart7
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Unusually melodic blackbird

For the last two months, a local blackbird has repeatedly sung an extraordinary five-tone riff. It is actually very similar to the one in the movie "Close Encounters". Amongst a few other more normal blackbird sounds, it repeats the five tone song over and over again, especially around dawn and dusk. I understand that blackbirds can mimic sounds but I can't imagine where this was picked up. It is quite startling.

Is this unusual? I am not a regular birdwatcher and only joined this forum to pass it on and because it seems just so extraordinary.
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Old Sunday 19th April 2020, 20:21   #2
Jane50
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Hello dmart7, i have just joined this forum as I'm interested in getting into birdwatching. This is so weird because for the last few weeks I've had a local blackbird also singing a five note tune repeatedly, with other trills and tunes in between but mainly the same five note tune at dawn and dusk. I am a musician and I think the notes in sequence would be CDEGE. At first the bird was singing the notes very short and simple , but then he started elaborating and elongating the tune with kind of a wolf whistle at the end. It's so cute! Then he started adding one or two notes onto the end of the tune. I find it fascinating as a musician and also a bird lover. It's certainly cheered me up in these difficult times listening to him ��
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Old Tuesday 21st April 2020, 16:18   #3
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Do you have any recordings?
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Old Tuesday 21st April 2020, 23:06   #4
Jane50
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You could call it 'Close encounters of the bird kind'!
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Old Wednesday 22nd April 2020, 06:02   #5
dmart7
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Stan - I do have a couple of short recordings. They are not professional but the song can be heard quite clearly. 2xMP3 add up to less than 2mb. PM me with your email address and I could send attachments?

Jane - love it!
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Old Wednesday 22nd April 2020, 06:56   #6
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Hi dmart and a warm welcome to you from all the Staff and Moderators.

You could upload the recordings in this thread. When you post a reply, scroll down below the message pane and you will see a grey Manage Attachments button. Click on that then browse for your first recording; click on upload, wait a few seconds till the file name appears. Then repeat for the second recording.

When you've done, close that window and select Preview to ensure they show at the bottom of your post.

Please don't be afraid to ask if you need more help.
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Old Wednesday 22nd April 2020, 07:45   #7
dmart7
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Sorry - missed the attachments option. So hopefully this will work, and they are attached. Listeners will need to turn up the volume a bit, degrading signal-to-noise ratios, but it is clear enough. While I've only given a short snapshot of the riff, bear in mind that it is repeated endlessly, usually from high up in a big tree.
Attached Files
File Type: mp3 Blackbird song_1.mp3 (322.6 KB, 26 views)
File Type: mp3 Blackbird song_2.mp3 (1.44 MB, 25 views)
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Old Wednesday 22nd April 2020, 10:23   #8
davercox
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Hi dmart7. I think I could get fairly fed up listening to that all day.

This may or may not help, but I do know that some Blackbirds do base their song on 'favourite' phrases (where your bird got this one I've no idea). Eventually they add a different phrase, then switch to that one.

It may help them to recognise their neighbours (if that's much advantage to them).

One other little thing - Blackbirds often end their beautiful woodwind song with a strange, quiet, high-pitched squeak. I think Jane50 mentioned something like that earlier on. No idea why they do that.
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Old Friday 24th April 2020, 08:46   #9
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I haven't heard my blackbird for a good few days now. I don't know what's happened to him. I've heard some basic tweets so I don't think it's him. Unless he's forgotten his tune or gone back to basics!
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Old Friday 24th April 2020, 15:35   #10
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My local blackbird has taken to interspersing his song with something that sounds exactly like Homer Simpson saying "woohoo!"
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