How to Identify Birds by Their Song
"Birding by ear" is a technique to identify birds by their song. Today we'll tell you all about it.
Singing, a complex issue
Singing sounds are already identified as longer, complex and more elaborate sounds. There’s no agreement about their usefulness. However, the most accepted theory is that they fulfill the process of courtship for mating.
Six ways to identify birds by their song
Observation is the most effective way to learn to identify birds by their songs. When watching a bird sing, you should pay close attention to try to associate the bird’s morphology with the sound. However, the most important thing is to listen carefully to the variations emitted in the song. Otherwise, all the songs will appear identical.
Associate the song with a known sound
Record the sound
It’s very difficult to remember all the sounds emitted by the different bird species by heart. So, you must record the sound of each song with a recorder, a cellphone or even a notebook. Always bring along some tools with which to check what you heard, in order to memorize the sound in your head.
Do your research to be able to identify birds by their song
There’s no knowledge without effort. You must investigate the information that you collected in your fieldwork. Also, listen to and record the various bird songs.
There’s currently a lot of documentation out there about morphology and song association.
Pay attention to the name of the bird
The names or nicknames of many birds derive from the particular sounds these animals emit. So, another trick to remember them is to think about the name of a bird and try to associate it with their sounds.
Describe the nuances to identify birds by their song
Before you can identify birdsong you must learn to differentiate their soft nuances. This is because the latter comprise the sounds emitted by each species. One way to do it is to describe them with familiar qualities to your ear and vision. For example, a song can be more metallic, hollow, fluted, etc.
Some scholars claim they can associate bird songs with situations common to humans. For example, they say that the European Serin is hyper because of the intensity and speed of its sound.
But in the end, why set aside the wonders of technology? You can take advantage of these new apps that allow you to identify birds by their song in seconds. So far, the most recommended one is the Audubon Bird Guide and is available for download online. You’ll see how it eases the task of identifying birdsong.