Discover 3 Types of Birds That Sounds Like Water Drop

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The world of birds is filled with a variety of sounds, from the melodious songs of songbirds to the piercing calls of hawks.

But there are also some birds that have calls that sound more like a trickling stream or a gentle rain shower – birds that sound like water drops.

These birds are the Swainson’s Thrush and the Brown-headed Cowbird. While they may not be the most common birds, their water-drop-like calls are sure to catch your attention if you’re lucky enough to hear them.

In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at these two birds and their unique calls. We’ll also discuss the reasons why they might make these sounds.

Keep reading to learn more about these fascinating birds!

Swainson’s Thrush

Swainson's Thrush
Swainson’s Thrush

This medium-sized thrush has a variety of calls, but its most distinctive is a clear, single note that sounds like a water drop plunking into a pool. The call is often used to attract mates and defend territory.

Scientific NameCatharus ustulatus
Common NameSwainson’s Thrush
HabitatBoreal and temperate forests, wooded areas, and shrublands
RangeBreeds in North America, migrates to Central and South America
MigrationMigratory, undertaking long-distance migrations
SizeLength: 6.3 to 7.5 inches (16 to 19 cm)
WingspanApproximately 10.6 inches (27 cm)
Weight0.7 to 1.1 ounces (20 to 31 grams)
PlumageBrownish-olive upperparts, buffy-white underparts with heavy spotting on the breast
Feeding HabitsInsects, spiders, berries, and small fruits
BehaviorShy and elusive, often forages on the ground
SongMusical and flute-like, with a descending, spiraling quality
Breeding SeasonMay to July
NestingCup-shaped nest on the ground or in low vegetation
EggsTypically 3 to 4 pale blue-green eggs
Incubation PeriodAbout 11 to 15 days
Conservation StatusLeast Concern (population stable)
Notable FeatureDistinctive flute-like song; migrates long distances between breeding and wintering grounds

Meet the Swainson’s Thrush, a small bird known for its sweet, flute-like song. During the breeding season in woodlands, listen carefully, and you might hear phrases in its song that sound like the gentle patter of water droplets. It’s like nature’s own lullaby.

American Bittern

American Bittern

Head to wetlands, and you might encounter the American Bittern, a bird that’s a master of disguise and mimicry.

Scientific NameBotaurus lentiginosus
Common NameAmerican Bittern
HabitatMarshes, wetlands, reed beds, and shallow ponds
RangeNorth America, from southern Canada to northern Mexico
MigrationMigratory, some populations are resident
SizeLength: 23 to 34 inches (58 to 86 cm)
WingspanApproximately 45 inches (114 cm)
Weight1 to 1.5 pounds (0.45 to 0.68 kg)
PlumageCryptic brown and buff, with streaks and spots
Feeding HabitsPrimarily fish, amphibians, insects, and small mammals
BehaviorSolitary and secretive; often stands motionless to blend with surroundings
Call/SongLoud, booming “pump-er-lunk” sound during breeding season
Breeding SeasonApril to July
NestingPlatform nest in emergent vegetation or on the ground
Eggs3 to 5 pale green or blue-green eggs
Incubation PeriodAbout 24 to 29 days
Conservation StatusLeast Concern (population stable)
Notable FeatureCamouflage plumage and ability to stand motionless for extended periods

This wader has a cool trick—it can imitate the sound of water droplets. Its “pumper-lunk” call adds a touch of magic to the wetland soundscape, creating an illusion of falling water.

Brown-headed Cowbird

Brown-headed Cowbird
Brown-headed Cowbird

This small, black bird is known for its parasitic breeding habits, but it also has a distinctive call that sounds like a water drop. The call is often used to communicate with other cowbirds.

Scientific NameMolothrus ater
Common NameBrown-headed Cowbird
HabitatVaried, including open fields, pastures, and forest edges
RangeThroughout North America, except for some northern regions
MigrationGenerally non-migratory, but some populations may exhibit short-distance movements
SizeLength: 7 to 8.5 inches (18 to 22 cm)
Weight1.5 to 2 ounces (42 to 57 grams)
PlumageGlossy black plumage with a brown head (males); brown and streaked (females)
Feeding HabitsOmnivorous, diet includes seeds, insects, and small fruits
BehaviorBrood parasite; females lay eggs in the nests of other bird species
SongHarsh, gurgling sounds
Breeding SeasonLate spring to midsummer
NestingParasitic nesting; eggs laid in the nests of other bird species
EggsVariable, matching the host species’ eggs in color and pattern
Incubation Period10 to 12 days
Conservation StatusLeast Concern (population stable)
Notable FeatureObligate brood parasite, meaning it relies on other bird species to raise its young

Now, let’s talk about the Brown-headed Cowbird. This bird might surprise you—it’s known for laying eggs in other birds’ nests!

But what’s really interesting is its “gurgle” or “bubble” sounds during courtship. These sounds are like gentle rain, mimicking the soothing pattern of water droplets.


Nature’s music is full of diverse and fascinating melodies, and these three birds—the Swainson’s Thrush, the American Bittern, and the Brown-headed Cowbird—bring a special note to the symphony with their mimicry of water droplets. Whether you’re a bird expert or just a curious explorer, listening to these birds can bring joy and a deep appreciation for the wonders of the natural world. So, the next time you’re out in nature, take a moment to enjoy the soothing sounds of birds that echo the calmness of falling water.

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