Bird Songs

To: 'John Harris' <>, 'Chris Davey' <>, 'Jacob Johnson' <>, "" <>
Subject: Bird Songs
From: Philip Veerman <>
Date: Fri, 18 Sep 2020 08:31:42 +0000

Sure, the starting advice to check out recordings was the obvious best advice (apart from maybe seeing the bird whilst calling and identifying it that way). I find little to be confused about distinguishing the two species’ calls or songs. Yes "musical" is subjective and I suggest Chris check out the best, of the genre.


If you compare the full repertoire of the two species, then I would suggest the Grey Shrike-thrush is the more "musical". This is based on having more variety and more flutey notes than chiming notes.


If you compare those - well known and used in winter - single notes, then there is not a lot to judge on.


If you compare the full repertoire of the Golden Whistler to the single note of the Grey Shrike-thrush, then the former is the more musical.


If you compare the full repertoire of the Grey Shrike-thrush to the single note of the Golden Whistler, then the former is the more musical.


Superb Lyrebirds mimic both of them.





From: John Harris [
Sent: Friday, 18 September, 2020 1:54 PM
To: Chris Davey; 'Philip Veerman'; 'Jacob Johnson';
Subject: Re: [Canberrabirds] Bird Songs


Yes of course.

When I tried to help Jacob distinguish the two birds by their calls by suggesting he go to the COG website, I also tried to be helpful by adding the observation that the Golden whistler was probably ‘more musical’ . I was being non-technical and guessing it was the GW that caught his attention. I have had both GW and GST in my yard for about three months. The GST utters only its single-note metallic ‘ching’ or ‘klute’ or however you choose to try to spell it. The GW utters a multiple note song and is by far the most obvious and the one people always ask me about. No one has ever asked me about the GST song. Cheers



From: Chris Davey <>
Date: Friday, 18 September 2020 at 12:10 pm
To: Philip Veerman <>, "" <>, 'Jacob Johnson' <>, chatline <>
Subject: RE: [Canberrabirds] Bird Songs


Musical concerns the brain of the beholder. I do not regard heavy rock as musical but many do. Chris


From: Philip Veerman [
Sent: Thursday, 17 September 2020 8:46 PM
To: 'John Harris'; 'Jacob Johnson';
Subject: Re: [Canberrabirds] Bird Songs


I suggest the sounds are very different (more than appearance - other than size and other than an adult make GW). Hard to suggest that the Golden Whistler is more “musical” than the Grey Shrike-thrush. During winter which we are just coming out of and in the suburbs we generally don’t get much repertoire of either. Usually the single “klute” call of the Grey Shrike-thrush and the single rising whistle call of the Golden Whistler.




From: John Harris [
Sent: Wednesday, 16 September, 2020 11:17 AM
To: Jacob Johnson;
Subject: Re: [Canberrabirds] Bird Songs


Hi Jacob,

There are a number of places where you can listen to recorded bird songs.

Both of these birds are easiest accessed on our Canberra birds website. Got Our Birds and select Bird Info. Both those birds’ songs are recorded.

I suggest that if the call was very obvious and musical, that it was probably a Golden whistler. The female is not easy to distinguish from the Grey Shrike Thrush ay a distance. Cheers



From: Jacob Johnson <>
Date: Wednesday, 16 September 2020 at 7:16 am
To: chatline <>
Subject: [Canberrabirds] Bird Songs


Hi everyone,


Today I heard a Bird song which is either a Grey Shrikethrush or Golden Whistler. How do I tell the songs apart?



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