Sound guide to the birds of campus

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Red-winged Blackbird at the Mirror Lake, UConn Storrs campus

The purpose of this guide is to promote interest in bird-watching and identifying through the use of bird song. It was created in hopes that faculty and students of the University of Connecticut will become more familiar with the birds and other wildlife of UConn. Patience and quiet observation are the keys to a successful viewing of the animals around us!

How to Use this Guide:

The guide is designed so that beginner birders can have a leg-up to bird identification; as vocalizations are one of the most common methods of communication throughout the bird-world, it helps beginners to become familiar with their songs and calls. Start by identifying the habitat you are in, then listen for a few minutes to determine the type of sound you are hearing. Don’t become discouraged and keep a positive outlook!

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Yellow Warbler

A high pitched phrase all the same pitch – “Sweet, sweet, sweet, sweeter than sweet!”

click here for song

Common Yellowthroat

A distinctive: “Witchity witchity witchity witch!” with a drop in pitch on each syllable of the word.

click here for song

Warbling Vireo

Long and complex song, sounds almost like its asking a long question with the lifted-pitch end note.

click here for song

Baltimore Oriole

Sweet whistling call that is highly variant; these birds can easily be spotted on tops of thickly growing shrubs.

click here for song

Red-Winged Blackbird

Harsh and dramatic “Conk-a-reeee!” – this bird’s call is unmistakable once learned.

click here for song

Eastern Phoebe

Sounds like a raspy voice calling “Fe-beee! Fi breee?”

click here for song

Mourning Dove

Very sad hoo-ing call; often mistaken for an owl.

click here for song

Chipping Sparrow

Like a jack-hammer, all notes of the same pitch.

click here for song

Black-capped Chickadee

Song is a sweetly singing “Fee-beeee, Fee-beee!” with a distinct drop in pitch for second note; call is a quickly rapping “Chicka-dee-dee-dee!”

click here for song

Red-eyed Vireo

Song is similar to a robin but much higher pitched; phrases come in triplets “Here I am! Where are you?”

click here for song

Chimney Swift

Call sounds like a bird chittering on fast-forward; often heard from larger groups of swifts flying overhead. click here for call]

American Robin

Phrases come in triplets, wavering between two notes “cheer-i-lee, cheer-up!”

click here for song

Blue Jay

Call is a one noted “Cree!”; high-pitched but rasping

click here for song


Complex, raspy trill of notes; many birders say this bird always sounds like it is trying to sing too many notes at once.

click here for song

Gray Catbird

Species call is a raspy “mew” similar to a cat; also a mimid – quickly runs through phrases of other bird species or sounds once, one after the other.

click here for song


Song increases in volume as it progresses; a distinct drop in pitch on the second note, this bird seems to cry “Tea-cher, tea-cher, tea-cher!”

click here for song

Tufted Titmouse

Similar to the ovenbird, but this bird’s call is slightly slower and almost echoes itself “Pe-ter, Pe-ter, Pe-ter!”; there is no change in volume.

click here for song

Wood Thrush

Clear, sweet and flute-like; this bird has a low and odd-pitched song that can be best described as “Eee-oh-lay-oh!” ending with a high-pitched, twittering rasp.

click here for song


Similar to the wood thrush, this bird has a cascading “Veer, veer, veer!” that sounds like multiple notes are being sung at once.

click here for song