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6 Bird That Sounds Like a Slide Whistle or a Flute

Written by Clinton Atkins / Fact Checked by George Dukes

bird that sounds like a slide whistle or a flute

If you ever wondered what is that bird that sounds like a slide whistle or a flute, well, you are not alone! 

In this article, we will learn about our feathered friend, the Cedar Waxwing! This bird has a sighing whistle that sounds like a human whistle.

Keep reading as we explore this medium-sized bird and other entertaining birds that also sound like a whistle.

What to Know About the Cedar Waxwings

Cedar Waxwings are a treat for the eyes and a delight to the ears! Here’re some interesting facts about them:

#1 Cedar wax wings song

Cedar Waxwings sounds are so unique that you can distinguish them from their family of songbirds.

It is mainly composed of two familiar sounds. One is a thrilled high-pitch, and the other is a sighing whistle; thus, this can be the reason why this bird makes a high-pitched whistle.

Cedar waxwing call often at night, not in the morning, and when in a flock of flights to communicate. How they calibrate their pitch, duration, and frequency will depend on their courtship displays and flights.

Therefore, if you hear a whistling bird sounds, assume that our fantastic friend, Cedar, is just next to us!

#2 Appearance


Cedar Waxwing has the scientific name Bombycilla cedrorum and belongs to the family of Bombycillidae.

These friends got their name from the waxy red tips on their wings.

In addition, this bird’s hues include a black mask covering its face, a pale ground color from head to chest, and grayer tones on its feathers that extend to its tail.

While the tip of their tail is bright yellow, their belly is a more muted shade of yellow.

The male chin is a darker color. Their size is between a sparrow and a robin, measuring up to 6.7 inches in length, weighing 32 grams, and a wingspan of about 11.8 inches.

#3 Behaviors


One thing about Cedar Waxwings, aside from having a cunning bird call sounds like whistle, is they are also social birds that often form large flocks of 40 or more.

Unlike other birds, Cedar Waxwings are not territorial and will even groom each other. You will often spot them in open woodlands, in neighborhoods, and especially near fruiting trees like crops of berries.

Most of these birds are frugivorous. Their diet mainly comprises berries but can also include insects and flower saps.

#4 Breeding

Cedar Waxwing, or the bird that sounds like a flute, performs courtship to proceed to breed. And for these birds, late spring to late summer is their season for mating. 

Their courtship styles are also entertaining to watch. It begins with the male executing a hopping dance and offering the female berries or fruit.

Once the female becomes interested, she will dance and return the fruit. This cycle will go on repeatedly until the female finally eats the offerings.

Once they choose a nesting site, the female will lay about 4 to 6 eggs, incubating for approximately 12 days. Both parents will take care of the baby birds, and for about two weeks, the bird will be able to fledge.

Other Birds That Have a Slide Whistle Bird Call

1. Eastern wood-pewee


If you ever heard sounds like a man whistling at a woman, these medium-sized birds might be the culprit. Eastern wood pewee has a distinctive call that resembles a whistle.

Most of the time, it is the male that is singing. These birds typically sing while migrating in the spring.

2. Thrushes

During June is when we can hear the flute-like magical songs of the thrushes. Surprisingly, there are many calls of thrush that we cannot hear. It can range up to 50 different pieces.

While some bird call one note whistle, thrushes have a throat that can hit two notes simultaneously.

To all which bird whistles, the Brown Thrashers sound pretty similar to Cedar Waxwings. However, this thrash bird whistles twice before changing to a new phrase.

Where Do They Live?


You can find the Cedar wax along bodies of water such as rivers and ponds, in low berry bushes and evergreens throughout the northern half of the United States.

The Eastern Wood-Pewee is well-known in the United States and Canada, where it can be found on both public and private lands. They reside in forest cleanings and the edges of mixed forests.

Thrash birds are native to North America and live in thickets, mixed woods, and swamps. They can also be seen in Canada during the winter, when they migrate to avoid the cold.

Do Birds Have Different Voices?

No. Birds have varying characteristics in terms of pitch. Small birds like Cedar Waxwings commonly have a higher pitch or voice than large birds like Common Raven, which tends to have a lower voice.

What Bird Sounds Like a Referee Whistle?

Many birds can sound like a referee whistle for different reasons. To name a few, we have American Wigeon, Cedar Waxwing, Brown-Headed Cowbird, and various thrashes.


Nature has blessed us with various bird that sounds like a slide whistle or a flute. But after reading this, we hope you can better appreciate the musical effort of the Cedar Waxwing or even the Eastern wood-pewee and thrushes.

Please let us know if this article has supplemented you with fruitful information that satisfies your curiosity. And if you enjoyed reading, feel free to share your thoughts and opinions!

5/5 - (3 votes)

Clinton Atkins


Hi, I'm Clinton. Rocky and I became friends after a birdwatching trip with our new group. And we have been enjoying every adventure together. When he told me the idea of establishing a site that shares our experiences and fun, I immediately agreed. After trials and errors, here we have Thayerbirding.

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