Hall of the Hermit Thrush

Date Posted:
Jun 23, 2021, 08:00 PM

Welcome to Tiffany Theden’s sound vigil! Her field notes reveal an extensive knowledge of the critters in this ecosystem and a fantastic ability to trace her experience of them through poetry and visual art. The sounds in this video feature the hermit thrush, a bird with complex calls featuring all sorts of virtuoso trills and slides. Fun fact: The hermit thrush has a preference for singing intervals that follow the harmonic series. One study found that 70% of their calls have this harmonic basis, which feature the same small-integer frequency ratios present in much of human music (Doolittle et al., 2014). Very cool shared resonance between the human and the hermit thrush. Enjoy these field notes and sounds as captured by Tiffany!


Doolittle, Emily L., Bruno Gingras, Dominik M. Endres, and W. Tecumseh Fitch. 2014. “Overtone-Based Pitch Selection in Hermit Thrush Song: Unexpected Convergence with Scale Construction in Human Music.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 111 (46): 16616.