Japanese Robin – Songs and calls

posted in: Vocalisation | 1

“As I mentioned earlier, these lovely birds are not hard to find as the song is distinctive and loud; we identified at least 6 different birds within a large forest area. Peter Clement, Chris Rose, Robins and Chats, Helm Identification Guides 2015 state that the birds sing ‘mainly May-June, occasionally to early August‘.

“The song is given by the adult males and is a territorial, advertising call. The bird tends to extend the head back and cock the tail but this is not always done. At times the tail is erect and fully open when singing. A recording of the male song is HERE.

“In the background you can hear the soft, sharp, high frequency whistle calls made by the female. The male song is a delightful, loud rattle that has between 11-22 notes, often 13-14 (sample: 11, 22, 14, 14, 14, 13, 13, 15, 21, 12). The song is repeated very 7-10 seconds (sample: 10, 7, 10, 7, 7, 9, 9, 9). An average sonogram and waveform is given above. Note that the introductory note is different from the rest. The song, although sounding similar, is very variable in pitch and quality. In this recording, I have extracted 7 songs that, to my ear, have variations, Sonogram and waveform is shown below. Note that the ‘thickness’ of the note varies on waveform as does the structure on sonograms. A lot more work needs to go into analysing this male song and the many variation that are rendered and their purpose.

“In this other recording, I have removed the loud male song so as to enable amplification of the softer adult female’s calls. The main call made by the female is a high frequency whistle that is often made in three notes that last 2-3 seconds (Sonogram and waveform given below). These calls are repeated every 4-6 seconds. Occasionally, just after the whistles, she gives a soft rattle song, very much like the male’s, but it very is hard to appreciate without amplification.”

Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
10th June 2019


One Response

  1. I read half the post but heard the robin fully. delightful.


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