Saturday, February 17, 2018

Warbler Guy, what are some techniques I can use to increase my ability to remember warbler songs and commit them to my long-term memory? Birding by ear tips you recommend?

Excellent question, Bernice (in Chicago).

Everyone’s different, I have discovered, in terms of learning style in the field and progressing toward a Master’s of Science in IDing Birds By Ear.

That’s why I offer 10 diverse hints in my Top Ten Tips To Improving Your Birding By Ear handout that’s free at my web site:

There, first click on “Birding Links,” and when the next screen shows a menu of files, click on Top Ten Tips To Improving Your Birding By Ear to access it and/or print it.

As a prequel to what you’ll read, here’s one tip among the 10:

#5. “Draw” bird vocalizations using your own “short-hand” notation marks, ala the chapter in Sibley’s Birding Basics (i.e., a quasi-sonogram shorthand method that he introduces). After your birding foray and when you’re out of the field, use these written notation marks while listening to songs/calls on media (e.g., CDs) to ID the species you heard and/or better learn their song/call patterns.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My suggestion is to learn to group the warbler songs into types. Is the song a single repeated note (e.g. Prothonotary, Cape May); is it two notes back and forth (e.g. Black-and-white, A. Redstart); is it a trill (e.g., Worm-eating, Pine, Orange-crowned); is it very high-pitched (Blackburnian, Cape May, Bay-breasted); is it inarticulable (Canada, N. Waterthrush); are there buzzy notes (Golden-wing, B-T Blue); is it repetitive (C. Yellowthroat, Connecticut); etc.