Animals Wildlife Explore the Wonderfully Diverse Sounds of Shorebirds By Catie Leary Writer and Photographer Georgia State University Catie Leary writes and curates visual stories about science, animals, the arts, travel, and the natural world. our editorial process Catie Leary Updated August 09, 2018 Red knots. (Photo: Elliotte Rusty Harold/Shutterstock) Share Twitter Pinterest Email Animals Wildlife Pets Animal Rights Endangered Species Left to right: Greater yellowlegs, black skimmer, masked lapwing. (Photo: Tania Thomson/Robert L Kothenbeutel/clearviewstock/Shutterstock) One of the most remarkable characteristics of any bird species is its call, and that's no different for shorebirds, some of which spend their lives migrating thousands of miles between the world's beaches, sea cliffs, marshes and mudflats. From high-pitched chirps and squeals to throaty barks and growls, these fascinating birds represent a breadth of avian sound (not to mention the background noise of any great beach vacation). Continue below to listen to a selection of shorebird calls, with recordings courtesy of Cornell's comprehensive Macaulay Library, which includes audio and video files. Arctic terns Arctic tern. (Photo: Vishnevskiy Vasily/Shutterstock) Arctic terns (Sterna paradisaea) have a few distinct calls, including a short chittering-like "kip kip kip" and a more hawk-like "kee-eer" screech, both of which can be heard in the clip below. Greater yellowlegs Greater Yellowlegs. (Photo: Paul Reeves Photography/Shutterstock) Greater yellowlegs (Tringa melanoleuca) emit long strings of fast, alarm-like whistles that are fairly reminiscent of the "pew pew pew" sound effects of vintage video games. Western snowy plovers Western Snowy Plover. (Photo: Kristian Bell/Shutterstock) The high-pitched trills of the western snowy plover (Charadrius nivosus) are just as cute as the tiny birds themselves. American avocets American avocets. (Photo: BGSmith/Shutterstock) American avocets (Recurvirostra american) typically let out high-pitched "kweeps" and "wheeps." Black skimmers Black skimmers (fynchops niger). (Photo: feathercollector/Shutterstock) Black skimmers (Rynchops niger) have a distinct call characterized by short rubbery barks. Masked lapwing Masked Lapwing (Vanellus miles). (Photo: loflo69/Shutterstock) The masked lapwing (Vanellus miles) is known for its diverse collection of calls, which include courtship calls, calls to its chicks, warning calls and defensive calls. Red-legged kittiwake Red-legged kittiwake (Rissa brevirostris). (Photo: Dmytro Pylypenko/Shutterstock) This small gull (Rissa brevirostris) is less vocal than other kittiwake species, but it emits an exceptionally high-pitched squeal. Snowy sheathbill Snowy sheathbill (Chionis albus). (Photo: Dmytro Pylypenko/Shutterstock) The throaty call of the snowy sheathbill (Chionis albus) is like a harsh, muttering cluck.