Stejneger’s Stonechat – calls and songs

posted in: birds, Vocalisation | 0

We heard the calls of the Stejneger’s Stonechat (Saxicola stejnegeri) often. As many were nesting, the calls we heard when we approached were alarm calls. But I did manage to record some songs as well.

Post 1.

One recording of the alarm calls by an adult breeding female is here: Post 1 shows the sonogram and waveform. Brazil (2018) describes them well as “a hard, stony, ja, ja, jat or hit, like pebbles knocked together, given in combination with sharp whistle”. Notes are given frequently at 1.8 per second. Usually 2 to 3 notes of the ‘stony’ calls followed by one sharp whistle. You can see this on the sonogram – the vertical bars are the stony calls and the layered note is the whistle.

A video of an adult breeding female making these types of calls is here:

Post 2.

One recording of the song by an adult breeding male is here:

Post 2 shows the sonogram and waveform. Although some describe the song as a ‘formless chatter’, there is a structure to the song. In the sonogram the first two songs are the common type made; you can see how uniform the call structure is. The other songs I heard were very varied and complex (2 examples shown).


Amar-Singh HSS (Dato’ Dr) – Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia

Location: East Hokkaido, Japan

Date: 5-11th June 2019

Equipment: Nikon D500 SLR with Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD, handheld with Rode VideoMic Pro Plus Shotgun Microphone

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