Graeme Chapman - natural history photographer - ornithologist

Bird calls / bird song
Spotted Quail-thrush

These are not your everyday bird calls and few people are familiar with them - the songs are quite loud and carry well but the high frequency contact calls are easily masked by the other sounds of the forest - they are also beyond the hearing of some people. I recorded this male singing in November along the Duck Creek Road on the way up to O'Reilly's Guest House in the Macpherson Range, southern Qld. Early morning in spring (August) is the best time to hear the song which as far as I am aware is only given by the male, usually from a low tree or some other vantage point. There is some variation in the song - samples 02 and 03 are just two examples. The songs are quite sustained and often last more than a minute or so. Yellow Robins and White-throated treecreepers also sing at a similar pitch in a repeated fashion, but the timings (length of notes and spaces between) are quite different. The single, high-pitched contact call (#06) doesn't carry very far and is also very hard to locate. This type of call is also given by all the other quail-thrushes. The functions of the other two high-pitched calls (#4 and#5) are not clear - they don't carry very far and it's my guess that they are directed at mates or offspring.

436-02 Spotted Quail-thrush 194-080
436-03 Spotted Quail-thrush 197-085
436-04 Spotted Quail-thrush 194-001
436-05 Spotted Quail-thrush 197-055
436-06 Spotted Quail-thrush 197-285

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