Bird song identification can be overwhelming, especially when you're a beginner. But there are plenty of audio resources out there to help you learn songs much easier.
There are Bird ID cd guides by Peterson, Audubon, Stokes and others. Below are some of the better audio guides for bird songs that are easy to use. Some include songs for birds in North America while others focus on a specific region, like Western or Eastern bird songs.
It's nice to have the songs with you when you're in the field trying to identify a bird, so you can either carry a portable CD player (old school or even older - cassette player!) or transfer the songs over to a mp3 player, like an iPod, or use a Birding App on your iOS or Android device.
If you prefer additional portability for mobile devices, view this page:
Our personal favorite is the "Birding By Ear" CD series. It groups bird songs by similarity such as sing-songers like robins, tanagers and vireos or trillers like chipping sparrows and juncos. I used the Western version when I moved out west and needed to learn songs for a job doing bird counts.
There is a Western and Eastern/Central version. It's easy to find each bird's song on the CD because the booklet tells you exactly where it is, for example:
Swainson's Thrush: Disk 2: track 9: time 1:45. The booklet also gives habitat and voice descriptions for each bird.
|By||Nature Lover (Brooksville, FL)|
"The narrator discusses each bird's song and/or call, telling you specific things to listen for, including comparisons to similar calls. Then the song/call is played.
The narrator finally reviews what you heard, pointing out similarities and differences again, as well as noting peculiarities.
I found this to be a very simple to follow format, and one which helped me to remember the songs/calls of each bird better than similar CD's which just give the name of the bird & then let you hear the song/call.
A booklet is included for review as well."
You can listen for free to some common Bird Song audio files from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology Macaulay Libary. Use the search box and then choose "audio" from the drop-down menu.
Don't get too discouraged with bird song identification, enjoy your time outdoors and, of course, your bird watching bliss!
Bird Identification - Tips and questions for identifying birds.
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