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Hummingbird Sounds
What sounds do Hummingbirds make?

Everyone enjoys bird songs but hummingbird sounds are not as melodious as other birds.

The voice box or scrinz, pronounced (sir‘ingks) is extremly small and not capable of complex vocalizations.

If you listen while your hummingbirds are zipping from flower to flower, you’ll hear them make a single note, called the chip note, sounding like a series of fast chirps.

Amusingly, some sounds made by hummingbirds sometimes can be a poke for us to fill an empty feeder.

Hummingbirds can create sounds that are both vocal and non-vocal.

Vocal sounds are made with the voice box but the non-vocal aerodynamic sounds are made with their wing and tail feathers.

Sometimes male hummers fight for territory by dueling with their beaks and creating the clicking sound you may have heard.

Yes, it is true that the super fast beating of a hummingbird's wings (60 beats per second) does create the humming sound giving this bird its name!


A Common Myth About Hummingbird Sounds

It is generally believed that all hummingbirds make the same high pitched sounds referred to as "squeaks" or "twitters".

Actually, there is a great deal of variation in sounds among species except those that are closely related.

You can identify species of hummingbirds by their sounds.

For example, an adult male Red-billed Streamertail has an elongated tail and produce a "whirring sound" during flight.

The male Broad-tailed hummingbird produces a "shrill wing whistle".

Anna’s hummingbirds are famous for their "very loud chirp" made with a vibrating tail during courtship displays.

Listening to the vocalizations of hummingbirds gives us an even greater insight into the world of these fascinating creatures.

Are they hungry, scuffling with each other over territory, fighting off other types of birds who might have an interest in their nectar feeders, or communicating with a possible mate?

What species of hummingbird do we hear?

It is fun to listen and attempt to understand how hummingbird sounds communicate in their natural world and sometimes the poke they give us.

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