photo credit: Laura Gooch

The two songs of the Black-throated Green Warbler — one directed at attracting females, and another at males in/near their territory — are among the most commonly heard bird songs on the Schoodic Peninsula.

In Cornell Lab’s All About Birds, the song directed at females, is referred to as the “accented” song, and they use the mnemonic “zee zee zee zee zo zee” to describe it. Nathan Pieplow in Peterson’s Field Guide to Bird Sounds of Eastern North America, describes it as a series of buzzy notes, followed by a whistle, and another buzzy note. He indicates that the number of buzzy notes in the beginning of the song can consist of 3-8 notes of varying speed, such as 8 notes sung quickly to 3 notes song slowly, and that they may even be less buzzy at times. Take a listen to the recording below, captured alongside Frazer’s Creek (a fast moving tidal creek) on June 16, 2019.

A spectrogram — a visualization of sound — showing the “accented” song: zee zee zee zee zee zo zee, or a series of buzzes (sometimes less buzzy), a whistle, and a buzz.

The other song of the Black-throated Green Warbler, directed at males, is described in Cornell’s All About Birds as the un-accented song and uses the mnemonic zee zee zo zo ze. Pieplow describes it as 2 buzzes followed by 2 whistles, and 1 buzz. The following recording, also captured at tidal Frazer’s Creek but on June 14, 2019, illustrates the second song of the Black-throated Green Warbler.

A spectrogram showing the “un-accented” song: zee zee zo zo zee, or two buzzes, 2 whistles (blurred together in this case) and a buzz.

While all this might sound complicated at first, both songs are somewhat similar sounding and are highly recognizable — aided by how common the songs are heard on the Schoodic Peninsula of Acadia National Park.