Heron alarm call - Celestun
Click on spectrogram to download sound file
The alarm call of the Tricolored Heron is a series of guttural caw syllables given in repeat. Stiles and Skutch (1989) report other vocalizations including "deep groaning or creeking notes."
Each short syllable has a wideband frequency spectrum from 200 to 3000 Hz with the highest power distributed between 200 and 1600 Hz. These syllables last 0.52 ± 0.07 seconds and are given at a rate of three every two seconds (N = 12 syllables from one alarm call bout).
Like most herons, the Tricolored Heron is generally silent except when disturbed. This alarm call was recorded as I approached a heron perched two meters above a roadside stream. The last five syllables were given as the bird took flight.
I encountered several Tricolored Herons in the brackish marshes around Celestun, often wading in close proximity to Snowy Egret (Egretta thula) flocks.
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