Song Sparrow Calls and Song (includes AUDIO clips)

Below, you are going to learn how to identify a Song Sparrow’s beautiful song. In addition, you will also hear what their lesser-known chip call sounds like.

song sparrow calls and song

And since Song Sparrows are widespread across North America, you should be able to hear one no matter where you live!

Song Sparrow Calls

Make sure to press PLAY on the audio files below. 🙂

Sound #1: The song

Song Sparrows (Melospiza melodia) sing a clear song that almost always begins with 3 short, sharp notes, which are then followed by a varied trill. The best places to find them singing are on exposed branches, about eye level, near a permanent water source.

To help you determine if you are hearing a Song Sparrow, try to remember the mnemonic “Madge-madge-madge, put-on-your-tea-kettle-ettle-ettle.” But don’t rely solely on this mnemonic because songs are incredibly different and unique, depending on that specific bird and location. In fact, individual Song Sparrows have been observed singing up to TWENTY different tunes, with as many as 1,000 slight variations!

For example, here is another example of a Song Sparrow song that is completely different than the one above. 🙂

Here’s a fun fact: Many birders think that the beginning of their song sounds similar to the opening four notes of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5.

Sound #2: Chip call

Both males and females can be heard making a sharp chip sound. This call is often used by Song Sparrows when they are alarmed or have anxiety, such as when a predator approaches the nest.

Watch the short video below for more examples of calls and sounds from a Song Sparrow.

YouTube video


Have you heard the calls and sounds of a Song Sparrow before?

If so, please let us know below!

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