best singers

Songs and calls of some New York State birds

Candidates for World's Best Singer

These are my personal favorites.

Uirapuru or Organ Wren, Musician Wren Cyphorhinus arada 1274kB AU file (Amazonia, Brazil). This song is on the page Songs of Brazilian Birds maintained by the Ministerio do Meio Ambiente, dos Recursos Hidricos e da Amazonia Legal in Brasilia.
Another long recording is available from the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology Library of Natural Sounds.
"O Canto do Uirapuru: Consonant intervals and patterns in the song of the musician wren" by Emily Doolittle and Henrik Brumm appeared in the Journal of interdisciplinary music studies spring 2012, volume 6, issue 1, art. # 12060103, pp. 55-85. The report was picked up by La Repubblica on 10/17/2013 ("Il cinguettio dell'Uirapuru assomiglia tanto alla musica di Bach e Haydn") with a link to a nice long record.

Rufous-and-white Wren Thyrothorus rufalbus. This recording, by Jorgen Peter Kjeldsen, is in the Xeno Canto collection. Dan Mennill's Bird Songs of Costa Rica has a page devoted to this bird.

Wood Thrush   Hylochicla mustelina

Arguably the best of the North American singers. This one is a champion. Notice the double-stopping in almost every register. Recorded in the Paul Simons Preserve, Saint James, Long Island.

A longer record of the same singer. Nine phrases, all different, in 37 seconds.

Golden Whistler   Pachycephala pectoralis. This record, made on Kolombangara, Solomon Islands, is a sample from Listening Earth. (Scroll down).

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Tony Phillips
Math Dept SUNY Stony Brook
email: tony at
May 27, 2016