Syrinxes (6:29)

Syrinxes (6:29)

Featured Species: Wood Thrush, Ovenbird and Veery.
(Recorded in a maple grove near Mont Saint-Hilaire, Québec, Canada)


American Robins and Thrushes (Turdidae family) have a particular talent for singing. To appreciate the performance of the Wood Thrush, you just have to walk in a maple grove in southern Québec after the rain, during an evening in May. Why “after the rain”? For the particular resonance of a wet forest and for the singing spirit of birds at the end of a period of dull weather. When several Wood Thrushes claim their territory vocally, the maple grove is transformed into a concert hall with a thousand echoes. An Ovenbird intervenes from time to time with its energetic song: titu titu titu titu titu!


Each bird brilliantly sings its tune while having its own voice, its own way to interpret “the official hymn” of its species. The human ear can sometimes note these distinctions from one bird to another. The Turdidaes have a highly developed syrinx (vocal organ) that allows them to simultaneously produce two sounds of different frequencies.


A short musical piece for flute serves as a transition to a duet of thrushes. The Veery performs a flute like song with descending notes, sweeter and faster than that of the Wood Thrush. A delight for music lovers!

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