Birding By Ear

Posted by Barbara Olson on

Perfect-- Simple Ear gives you a boost in your hearing to listen to all the birds!


Its springtime here in the northeast, and the migrants are coming through and filling the air with song, bringing us to today’s topic. When searching for birds, most beginning birders focus on the ‘watching’ part of birdwatching; looking for bright colors and trying to spot movements that reveal the presence of a bird. That is a very reasonable place to begin, but perhaps the main difference between novice and experienced birders is that skilled birders are much more attuned to finding birds by using their ears. We birders are fortunate that birds often make sounds that reveal their presence, unlike animals like deer, reptiles, butterflies, etc. that typically remain silent to avoid detection.


This is incredibly valuable because even the most colorful birds can be very difficult to find when they are not moving. Bird sounds can range from full-scale songs intended to advertise territory or to attract a mate, to contact calls for communicating with their partners or other members of their flock, to warning calls signaling that danger is near, to begging calls from juveniles to their parents. Many of these sounds are distinct for a particular species and can even be used to distinguish species that are outwardly very similar.


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