Song of the Golden-bellied Gerygone

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“The Golden-bellied Gerygone (Gerygone sulphurea sulphurea) is an intriguing bird, especially because of its call. It is a hard bird to spot as it makes a fairy like call that wafts in the wind, floating this way and that. So locating it is a challenge. The above image is an older one taken 20th September 2009 at same site.

“The best description of the song is by my sifu, GC Madoc, in his delightful book ‘An Introduction to Malayan Birds’ (1947, revised 1956). He says: ‘I must mention the Fly-Eater (Gerygone sulphurea) because its lovely elfin song intrigues many though the location of the songster may defeat them…. Its song is an ethereal plaintive warbling. The rather weak notes carry an amazing distance. The reason why it is so difficult to locate is that the bird turns its head from side to side as it sings, producing a ventriloquist effect.’

“Met up with the bird recently and tried my hand at recording the song HERE (two recordings back to back spliced together. Could not edit out all the background noise). A sonogram and waveform are given above.

“A nice video of the bird calling form the BESG is HERE.”

Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
22nd February 2015

Location: Tanjung Rambutan Interior, Perak, Malaysia
Habitat: Mixed secondary and primary forest

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