January 27, 2011

Birding By Ear

I have taken one class on bird songs. I think it was a great tool for bird ID and general appreciation of birds and nature. I feel like it makes birding complete to be able to use your ears to find birds and identify them. On the trail to the blind at Ridgefield, I stopped to record some video. I started out hearing a tree frog, but by the time I started recording, he stopped croaking. How many species of birds can you hear?

As soon as I heard the Brown Creeper, you can see how I swung the camera over to him. That is the beauty of birding by ear. See how he looks like moving bark? Hard to spot with the eyes, but I heard his distictive call before I ever saw him.

There was alot of "mewing" in the trees. Those are the White-breasted Nuthatches. Here are a couple of dark photos:

Such cute birds!

Do you bird by ear?


  1. Yes, I DO bird by ear!
    Great Creeper video and you were right on with the direction...just swung right on over!

  2. Wait....there's a class?

  3. I try to bird by ear, and it does help to spot the location sometimes. I enjoyed your photos.

  4. Rainsong: yes, I took a class through the Audubon Society of Portland. It was a great way to get started and learn a few common songs.

  5. That is Kewl! Remember those children’s books that had electronic sounds? You push something on the side and it made a noise to enhance the reading experience? (as if). On a whim I bought a bird book that did that with bird song. It has been a big help. Once, while trying to pinpoint a new song that I could not find feathers for, I heard the bird answer the book call. It was hard to just stop pressing the icon. Seemed like a cheat or harassment but it was kewl!

  6. I have been getting better at birding by ear, but still have a long way to go.
    I remember once birding in Albuquerque along the Rio Grande and hearing an unfamiliar bird song. The bird was up in a large Cottonwood. I anticipated seeing some new exotic bird and spent 5 to 10 minutes trying to locate it. Turned out to be a Spotted Towhee. :-) I haven't forgotten that song.

  7. I heard many Yellow-rumped Warblers--definitely Audubon's and maybe Myrtle, Red-winged Blackbirds, American Robin, White-breasted Nuthatch, Brown Creeper, and what is that "cook, cook, cook" at time 0:50-1:10? Squirrel? Pileated Woodpecker?

  8. I heard a Pied-billed Grebe calling in the distance at about 50 seconds


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