Black-naped Oriole’s 16 different calls

on 1st September 2010

In a post as far back as 22nd December 2008, it was mentioned that Gloria Seow had documented as many as seven different calls of the Black-naped Oriole (Oriolus chinensis). In the same post, this number was increased by one when YC made a 24-hour vigil in his garden. And there is also Wells’ (2997) report of more than ten different calls. However, to what extent these different calls reported separately are the same or different calls cannot be ascertained, mainly because there were no recordings made.

Now, Sun Chong Hong has come forward to share his 16 calls of the Black-naped Oriole, meticulously recorded with his digital camera in Singapore. He edited the recordings using a free sound editor “Audacity” which he downloaded from the internet. In this way he removed unwanted noises and calls of other birds from the sound clips. But some of these calls have not been edited as they ended too abruptly.

There is a 17th call which he heard only once recently that has a relative pitch of La-Ti-Re (the Re is at a lower pitch than the La-Ti). This he did not manage to record at that time, but will be made available if he managed to record it one of these days.

oriole call1, oriole call2, oriole call3, oriole call4, oriole call5, oriole call5a, oriole call6, oriole call7, oriole call8, oriole call9, oriole call10, oriole call11, oriole call12, oriole call13, oriole call14, oriole call15 and oriole call16.

Recording of these 16 calls is an excellent start. What we now need is for someone to establish the function for each call – whether it is to establish territory, to attract a mate, to sound an alarm, etc.

In May 2010, BESG made an appeal to birdwatchers to document bird calls and songs. We are happy that quite a few bird enthusiasts have since responded.

If you like this post please tap on the Like button at the left bottom of page. Any views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors/contributors, and are not endorsed by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM, NUS) or its affiliated institutions. Readers are encouraged to use their discretion before making any decisions or judgements based on the information presented.

YC Wee

Dr Wee played a significant role as a green advocate in Singapore through his extensive involvement in various organizations and committees: as Secretary and Chairman for the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch), and with the Nature Society (Singapore) as founding President (1978-1995). He has also served in the Nature Reserve Board (1987-1989), Nature Reserves Committee (1990-1996), National Council on the Environment/Singapore Environment Council (1992-1996), Work-Group on Nature Conservation (1992) and Inter-Varsity Council on the Environment (1995-1997). He is Patron of the Singapore Gardening Society and was appointed Honorary Museum Associate of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in 2012. In 2005, Dr Wee started the Bird Ecology Study Group. With more than 6,000 entries, the website has become a valuable resource consulted by students, birdwatchers and researchers locally and internationally. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not represent those of LKCNHM, the National University of Singapore or its affiliated institutions.

Other posts by YC Wee

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