Title: 500 Common Bird Calls in Southern Africa
Type: Bird Call Guide
Author: Doug Newman
Publisher: Struik Nature; Random House Struik
Cape Town, South Africa 2013
ISBN 9781431701209 / ISBN 978-1-43170-120-9
Softcover, 15x21 cm, 176 pages, 1 Audio CD incl. 500 mp3 tracks
This handy guide and CD will help you to identify the calls and songs of southern Africa's most commonly heard birds. Covering 500 distinctive southern African species, the book provides clear and accessible text, with a brief account for each entry, including a description of the song, associated behaviour, similar-sounding species, the bird's favoured habitat type, and a distribution map. The introduction describes interesting aspects of bird vocalisations, the differences between true songbirds and non-songbirds and why calls often change with the seasons and time of day. The CD features the best-known song or call of each of the 500 species.
How to use this book
Which are the true songbirds?
Calls, songs, subsongs and non-vocal sounds
Identifying and describing bird sounds
Dialects and repertoires
The dawn chorus
Index to scientific names and track numbers
Index to Afrikaans common names and track numbers
Index to English common names and track numbers
Herons, egrets and bitterns are water birds that give basic guttural songs and calls. Although the sounds made by a Goliath Heron are distinctive, most other herons and egrets are difficult to separate. Experience may help you to distinguish some species. The deeper, far-carrying calls of bitterns are easier to tell apart.
Song: Like many other herons, male gives guttural croaks in breeding display.
Other sounds: Typical croaks, given as alarm, flight and contact calls.
Regional variation: None.
Habitat: Dense vegetation at the margins of freshwater wetlands.
Similar sounding: Glossy Ibis (11), Grey (14), Western Cattle (18) and Yellow-billed (not included) egrets. Sounds like Glossy Ibis and most large herons as well as the egrets listed. Take care when attempting to separate these species on call alone, paying special attention to tone and pitch.