The soothing sounds of a bird’s song are sometimes a shrieking irritation to some people. However, the truth is that you can use specific tunes to recognize the kind of feathered friend emitting the sounds you hear, which allows you to look up the species in a field book. This is accomplished by “tuning” into bird songs. It is important to know that each and every species of bird delivers distinctive sounds, and that birding by ear allows you to identify a particular bird just as well as if you noticed their color and shape.
Without a doubt, there are many benefits when birding by ear. You don’t need any light, which comes in handy when identifying the owl hooting during a camping trip. For instance, the barred owl is quite different from any other sound you encounter during the night.
To all who have their ears perked up, a bird concealed in the thickness of summer greenery will often sing out its identity. While many rely on what they see with their own eyes, you can also hear in every direction at the same time, meaning you can recognize a bird and its song even when it is situated in back of you.
When compared to other creatures on earth, humans are categorized at a different level of sensory. For example, your dog comes in contact with the world mainly with the use of his or her nose, while our sense of smell is quite weak in comparison. The sensory experiences of beetle, bats, frogs, and even fish are quite difficult to grasp.
Alternatively, the strongest senses of a bird are actually their hearing and sight, which have transformed into their mode of communicating and identifying their own species. Through these two senses, they use signals to achieve this. Since we too use sight and sound, we are able to appreciate all of the mesmerizing variation in shape and color that birds possess just as we are in tuned to respecting the importance of sound in their lives.
As you start to identify the songs of birds, you will enter a whole new world of bird watching. Many people find themselves enchanted by the singing-like sound of the bird that greets them in the morning and find delight in coming in contact with birds they never knew existed.
In order to get started with birding by ear, the best thing to do is to purchase a field guide pertaining to bird songs. Just as a book with photos helps you identify the appearance of birds, you also need recordings to become familiar with how birds sing. Luckily, there are many different suitable cassette tapes and CDs regarding bird songs on the market. There are also impressive resources on bird songs found on the Internet. When familiarizing yourself with these songs, you will become open to an entire new realm of bird watching.
As you listen to the song of a bird, try to describe the experience in your own words. You may find that the white-breasted nuthatch delivers a more nasal tone with a “Yenk, yenk, yenk” song. The northern cardinal’s song emits notes that are slippery-sounding with a downward slurp. The blue jay’s call is known for sometimes sounding loud and harsh, as if the bird were screaming. When you create mental notes of these sorts of details, it will aid you in recognizing the same birds when you hear them once more.
Some people connect an English phrase with songs, as seen in “Peter, Peter, Peter” and the tufted titmouse. The use of such words helps you remember speed, rhythm, or pitch of certain songs.
It is also better when you can use your own words to describe a bird’s song, but it is OK to rely on unforgettable phrases that others create. A few examples include the song of the ovenbird, which sounds a lot like “teacher, Teacher, TEACHER.” It is also hard to top the “Quick, three beers!” phrase associated with the call of the olive-sided flycatcher.
After assigning words to the song of a bird, you will never forget the melody. Therefore, New Orleans may no longer mean a city in Louisiana to you, but could now stand for the song of an intriguing bird you discovered the other day.
Once knowledgeable on a couple of songs, you should make it a habit to listen in the early hours of the morning. Numerous birds begin singing about an hour just before sunrise. In general, the chorus they create is quite satisfying, but it is also fun to pinpoint and identify the separate voices that make up the group singing. Some birds will sing throughout an entire day, but the best time to enjoy bird songs is in the morning, as it is 100 times more powerful than in the middle of the day.
It doesn’t matter what season it is, as you can view more birds with your ears than your eyes. Therefore, why not give birding by ear a try tomorrow morning? Crack open the window before you go to bed and first thing in the morning, the singing of birds becomes clear. If the sounds are unknown to you, attempt to single out one song from the group. Even if the owner of this song is unexplainable at first, it will give you the encouragement you need to learn how to use your ears to see.