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Bird Song Identification
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. Here 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.
Birding By Ear Song ID Series
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
Swainson's Thrush: Disk 2: track 9: time
1:45. The booklet also gives habitat and
voice descriptions for each bird.
Our Favorite Bird Song Identification CDs
Excellent Teaching Style - Birding By Ear
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
Bird Songs Bible
fairly new bird song identification guide is the Bird Songs Bible. In addition
to having all the bird songs of North America (747), it also includes
illustrations. And like other bird id books, it gives a description of the bird,
its distribution, habitat, behavior and a voice description.
If you just want one, all-inclusive bird id book then this would be the one.
Just know that it is a big book and is not something you take in the field. We
think it would make a good coffee table book and the plus is that you don't need
to get your cd or mp3 player to listen to the songs since they are built in and
accessed with the touch of a button in the book.
Best Bird Song ID Apps for Mobile Devices
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 or transfer the songs over
to a mp3 player, like an iPod. If you prefer additional portability for
mobile devices, here are the Best
Birding Apps for iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad and Android.
You can listen for free to some common
Canadian bird song identification audio files from the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center. They
are, however, only snippets of each bird's song and are not as complete as
getting a bird song cd such as the ones listed above.
Don't get too discouraged with bird song identification, enjoy your time outdoors and,
your bird watching bliss!