PNG bird songs, part one

2007 February 1
by David J. Ringer

DUNCANVILLE, TEXAS — My thoughts are far from chilly, wet Texas tonight. Come away with me. Hear the voices of New Guinea birds.

I recorded these birds in the hill forest just above Madang town, Papua New Guinea, in June 2005. The quality isn’t like National Geographic, but then neither is my equipment.

  • White-bellied Cuckoo-shrikes (Coracina papuensis) are widespread in the lowlands. See my picture here.
  • Variable Pitohuis (Pitohui kirhocephalus) are one of the few birds known to be poisonous. The birds I saw near Madang looked similar to Mehd Halaouate’s Variable Pitohui photo in the BirdForum database (also on the page are brief comments on the bird’s toxicity). I have to confess, I’m about 99% certain that this recording is the pitohui, but unfortunately, I didn’t label the file back when I recorded it. If I’m wrong, somebody please correct me.
  • Helmeted Friarbirds (Philemon buceroides) are abundant in PNG‘s lowlands, and their raucous cries are one of the most commonly heard bird sounds. A Papua New Guinean in Western Province told me that when the birds begin to call in earnest toward evening, the people know it’s time to leave their gardens and start walking home. Like Carolina Wrens, Red-eyed Vireos, and many other songbirds, Helmeted Friarbirds sing several different versions of their song, as you can hear below.

Related posts:

  1. PNG bird songs, part two
  2. A performer unmasked
  3. Backyard birds in PNG
  4. House Sparrows expanding range in PNG
  5. Finding paradise, part two
2 Responses
  1. twinstigator permalink
    February 2, 2007

    I’ve long wondered which bird made the last call. Thank you for enlightening us. I love that the philemon-buceroides-02 has an interruption by a rooster. Now that’s the most commonly heard bird sound in Madang!

    Mhmmm, wha, 3am!? Roll over and and dream of a very specific chicken dinner.

  2. February 3, 2007

    seems like you still enjoying the moments in PNG. thanks for sharing the audios.

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