Background Information

Calls are short vocalizations distinguished from the longer songs. (Since songs are generally used for courtship and defending territory, sometimes short vocalizations that serve those purposes are also defined as songs, so the distinction is a rather fluid one.)

I was fascinating by the variety of different types of calls that I found mentioned, and could never find a glossary that defined a clear categorization of them. I eventually discovered the excellent book, the 2004 Nature's Music: The Science of Birdsong, edited by Peter Marler and Hans Slabbekoorn and in particular chapter 5, Bird calls: a cornucopia for communication by Marler himself. Often calls are referred to by their sounds, as in "the chink call", both because there may be more than one call of the same category, and because the same call may have different meanings in different situations. Here are the categories I've found there and elsewhere.