Bird Watching by Ear
Just what does it mean--birding by ear? How can you watch birds by ear? It’s like saying you can hear birds with your eyes. Well, you can—almost. Especially if you’re already familiar with what the particular bird looks like. Many birding experts and enthusiasts already have this talent. It’s simply the ability to recognize birds by their calls and their songs and sounds.
It’s a learned art, though. Learning birdsongs is the basis of birding by ear. You can learn to see more birds with your ears by taking the time to listen to the sounds and songs of birds. But take your time. Don’t try to learn too many at once.
No two species of birds sound alike. Each specie has a song of its own, its own unique sound, even within its specie. And if you listen to their bird songs closely enough, over a period of time you’ll be able to recognize each one. Eventually, you won’t even need to see the bird to know which one was singing.
Identifying birdsongs can be accomplished using phonetics which uses sound units to mimic the birds. You can find these in many bird field guides. And there are bird guides that publish bird song collections.
You can buy birdsong CDs that not only teaches the techniques for learning birdsongs but also provide a catalog of sample songs. They will help you learn and remember songs and sounds of birds.
Audio CDs and cassette recordings that teach popular bird songs are readily available. These recordings introduce listeners to methods of learning and remembering bird songs. One expert suggests that to help you remember you should think of a word or phrase that fits the song in rhythm and associate that with it. For example, some birders say that the finch’s song sounds like “per-chick-o-ree.”
You could also record those beautiful sounds of birds yourself. Get some recording equipment. Go birding; capture and make your own soundtracks and load them on your computer. Using software that can turn recordings into pictures, you’d be amazed at how you can create a very enjoyable pastime learning birdsongs.
With your newfound skill, bird watching doesn’t have to be limited to a daytime event for you. Simply enjoy the wonderful experience of birding by ear.
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