One of the easiest bird songs to learn is the Black-capped Chickadee. If you live in the northern Ohio, you’ve probably already heard their first spring songs. It’s basically just two clear pitches repeated again and again. The second pitch is usually a step (specifically a major 2nd) lower that the first pitch, and the song is quite easy to imitate. Here’s the song of a Black-capped Chickadee singing at the Holden Arboretum in Lake County.
When two male Chickadees need to establish territorial boundaries, they may sing the same two-note song back and forth at each other. Listen to these two Black-capped Chickadees at South Chagrin Reservation in eastern Cuyahoga County. You’ll also hear that one is closer to me than the other – at least for the moment.
What I find really interesting is that two male Black-capped Chickadees may actually sing back and forth with the second Chickadee singing a whole step below the first. He takes the lower pitch of the first Chickadee’s song and begins his song on that pitch. He then goes a step below that first Chickadee’s song. These two Black-capped Chickadees at the Case Western Reserve University Farm in eastern Cuyahoga County will demonstrate: