Bird Word: Duetting

  • Duetting: a male and a female of the same species singing together, usually in response to each other, and with different song patterns. The Magpie Lark and the Pied Butcherbird are good examples of this song pattern.

The duet song of several Australian species is something one cannot really do justice to in words. One has to experience it to fully appreciate the beauty of such a song. When I first heard a pair of Pied Butcherbirds near Kalgoorlie in Western Australia many years ago I couldn’t believe I was hearing two birds singing a duet. It was magnificent. One field guide I use describes the calls as “superb slow, flute like, mellow notes.”

The Magpie Larks that frequent our garden are not quite in the same league but are beautiful nevertheless.

Magpie Lark

Magpie Lark


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