Introduction: Bird Call Hands

Picture of Bird Call Hands

How to use your hands to make the bird call sound.

Step 1: Getting the Hands in the Proper Position

The first section of this tutorial will show you how to correctly arrange your hands to get the proper sound.

Step 2: Put One Hand on the Other

Picture of Put One Hand on the Other

(I don't think that this should matter whether you're left or right handed, but if you are left handed and this feels unconfortable, please do the opposite hands as described)

Place the left edge of your right hand at the base of the fingers on the left hand.

Step 3: Move Right Hand Down

Picture of Move Right Hand Down

Now take your right hand and, pivoting on the left edge where your hands are touching, move it down onto the left hand.

You should not need to lift your hand to do this step.

Step 4: Cup Hands and Align Thumbs

Picture of Cup Hands and Align Thumbs

Take the fingertips on both hands and curl them around the other hand.

The thumb of the right hand will be lower down then the thumb of the left hand. Keeping your hands together, move the left thumb up so that both thumbs are aligned.

Your hands are now in the correct position to do the bird call.

Step 5: Proper Blowing Technique

The following steps teach you how to blow properly so that the hands will create the proper sound.

Step 6: Pucker Your Lips & Inhale

Picture of Pucker Your Lips & Inhale
Pucker your lips and hold your hands in front of them.


To inhale properly, try the following:

  • Though to play most instruments you breath from your chest, you will actually blow better here if you breathe from your throat (get a lot of air in your throat, but not any in your lungs. Basically, do a breath that gets your shoulders to move)
  • Hold the breath in puckered lips (again, if you play a woodwind instrument, you're encouraged to not do this. However, this technique works better here
  • Do not inhale with your hands already at your lips

Step 7: Bring Hands to Face & Exhale

Picture of Bring Hands to Face & Exhale
Now, bring your hands to your lips. You should not have your lips over the space, but over the knuckles (see picture).


If you exhale incorrectly, you will only hear air passing through your hands, not the desired whistle.

  • Keep your hands tight. If they're too loose, air will escape out the sides
  • That being said...make sure that there is some space between them. Otherwise, the air has nowhere to go.
  • Blow hard. If you do not blow strong enough, you will not get the whistle.
  • Keep your hands steady. If they are shaking, the whistle might stop mid-blow.

Step 8: Getting the Bird Call Sound

Picture of Getting the Bird Call Sound

To achieve the bird call sound, while blowing, move the fingers AND ONLY THE FINGERS of the right hand slightly (it may help to only move the fingertips).

Step 9: Advanced Techniques

There is another, more advanced way to use the bird call technique as well.

You may have noticed that by moving the palms of the hands (while in the grip) in and out will change the pitch of the note you are producing. If you feel very confident with your call and breating techniques, you may be able to produce full songs on your hands.

There really aren't many tips I can give on this; you can either do it, or you can't. I'll just point out some things:

- Moving your hands closer together will cause the pitch to rise
- Moving your hands farther apart will cause the pitch to lower
- If you are really good at this, you can get the pitch to rise extremely high by removing all the fingers of the left hand except for the index finger. BE CAREFUL IF YOU DO THIS! It requires a lot of air to achieve the very high notes, and you may feel light headed.

On that happy note...have fun bird calling!


taweelch (author)2017-11-30

this does not work and it is frustrating!!!!!!!!!!!

EmanuelC27 made it! (author)2017-11-16

So easy

KhaliahH (author)2017-11-11

i started this at 10 am and i barely figured it out at 5:30 pm!!!!!!! this stuff hard

if you don't succeed try again and you will accomplish the bird call

scavenger12312 (author)2017-11-11

Heres a trick, whistle regularly and use that same lip position with your lips right above and below your knuckles

IsItEnderWolf (author)2017-10-13


DonovanM12 (author)2017-06-06

TIP: put your upper lip on your fingernails and your bottom lip just below your knuckle.

kamsiyochuk (author)2017-04-08

it didn't work

eskimoboy (author)2009-09-02

wow... this is REALLY loud. A piece of advice: do not do this into the ear of a sleeping person. They may lash out and strike your hands into your face, giving you an unsightly black eye. :)

blackstar132 (author)eskimoboy2016-11-22

haha. i wouldnt do that.

cough cough.... you toatally did not do that cough cough...

Sebastiandragonmaster (author)2016-10-20


i made it first try

Jack92829 (author)2016-10-28

I just can't do it ;-;

blackstar132 (author)Jack928292016-11-22


blackstar132 (author)2016-11-22

i freaking made it !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Iceguy2002 (author)2016-02-28

Who else makes a sound like donald duck and cant make anything else....please help

Alexkornbluh (author)2007-07-05

I cant figure out how to make the second part of the call. I've have been trying to do it for weeks now and I just can not do it. When I say the second part of the call I mean the finger movement. I just can not do it. Please help From, Confused 13 year old

i think what helped me is just moving the index finger up and down. try it!!1

I really can't seem to do it still and i've been trying for months

mammasboy (author)2013-05-02

HAHAHAHA, I DID IT :D thank you so much, been trying to do this for ages! finally got it :D

So cool, isn't it?!

ChipzAhoyMcCoy (author)mammasboy2014-03-08

Me too!

BrandonT2 (author)2015-02-15

I'm 100% done with this. Every guide is the exact same and none of them work for me. I am done trying.

Be even more patient! I managed this a few.minutes after reading the first few steps and I'm only 11!

phisx (author)2014-03-16

i kind of did it not sure though : ( :

sharpeleven12 (author)2012-08-28 is this the first song to feature a hand-owl? after 1min 20

clax1227 (author)2011-03-29

if it dosen't work don't worry it took me a month of just watching people doing it now i'll make a cooing sound and the dove's will coo back :D

sc lightning (author)2010-01-29

My friends and I do this in school all the time :). When there are a lot of people in the hallway everybody does it. I'll try and post a video.

alextheace107 (author)2009-05-23

I have been trying this for to years. I can't get it pls help me as in make a video

me neither maybe my hands are too fat or something cant seem to nail it

Shadow_Force (author)2009-10-16

 Nice. Thanks for sharing this. It's so simple and fun to do!!!

lonewolf1000 (author)2008-08-23

freakin sweet before i read this i could never bird call and now i can oh and can someone tell me how to give +1

volleyball freak (author)2007-07-26

u forgot 2 say that u have 2 lick ur thumbs where u r doing the bird call! i also cant belive that i got it as soon i finished reading it!!!!!

Darklin (author)volleyball freak2008-04-26

You don't have to lick your thumbs.

laxplaya10 (author)2008-04-23

This thing just won't work for me. most of my friends do it all the time and i've tried for about a month now and still can't do it

schetleft (author)2008-02-13

hand cooing is a difficult technique. i have been doing it for a few years, and i am not even close to mastering it.

jasonbesharat (author)2007-10-12

Ive tried and Tried with my freinds telling my how and what to do and, it just never works but it does for them...! it is VERY frustrating!

i make shooting things (author)2007-09-21

could you please post a video i have been trying to learn this for years and i cant get it. iv looked on youtube for one but their arnt any.

YES PLEASE make a video or something. I cannot do this for the LIFE of me.

e1337 (author)2007-04-24

You forgot to say to blow in from the top downward and have it a steady blow.

gladstone (author)2007-04-11

the way i got the sound is i put my lips at the bottom of the hole between the thumbs and moved it upwards while blowing untill it made a sound and make sure there are no gaps exept for the thumbs

Killa-X (author)2007-03-23

Well, I try doing this for 10 mins. First 9 mins was figuring the hands, and making an anoying loud PSSSSSS hollow sound. The last minute, I made 2, short whistles. So Pratice makes perfect :D

SeaLion (author)2007-01-07

how come it doesn't work for me...:( wut am i doing wrong...? :'(

killerhamster (author)2006-11-08

These are really good instructions!!! Thx!

davethefender (author)2006-08-19

oh, man, It's like taking me 2 weeks, and I still can't do it!! I'm doing everything right!! This guide DID help a ton though. If anyone can give me tips, please do

garv (author)davethefender2006-08-27

To start you want your hands almost airtight except for the spot between your thumbs. Finding the proper placement of your lips over the knuckles is key. Blow over the space between you thumbs not into it. Think of it as if you were trying to whistle with the top of a beer or soda bottle. Blow over the hole at the right angle and you got it. Try blowing harder or softer and eventually you will get it. Good Luck!!

alt_f13 (author)2006-06-16

I'm surprised noone has commented yet. This is really well done, and seems rather original for instructables. Nice to find something where I don't need to leave my desk, distil water or order copious quantities of LEDs, voltage regs or U-235 from online suppliers to duplicate. Nice job.

Pearl (author)2006-05-12

it worked a lot easier for me to make this space smaller than pictured.

About This Instructable




More by AtionSong:Bird Call Hands
Add instructable to: