Individuals can identify bird species by listening to variations in rhythm, pitch, repetition and tone in a bird's songs and calls. Each species has its own unique vocalizations.
Birds have different rhythms and speeds for their songs and calls, with some having rapid series of notes and others slow melodies. Birds such as Cedar waxwings have high-pitched songs, whereas the common raven has a deeper voice.
Repetition is also key. The northern mockingbird repeats phrases several times over, while the brown thrasher repeats each phrase twice. Bird songs and calls sometimes have tones that remind birders of other sounds, such as flutes or liquids.