It’s impossible to miss the robins outside the window right now, but even if you missed Colt Gregory’s “Introduction to Birding by Ear,” at the March 18 FMN chapter meeting, it’s not too late to start understanding birdsong.
An Arlington Regional Master Naturalist and lifelong birder, Mr. Gregory entertained the crowd with reasons to learn the songs of local birds: they hide, for one thing, and it’s easier to hear them than to see them. Listening and parsing their music requires focus, which is good discipline for our fragmented attention. And, well, it’s fun to impress people. There’s more to it, of course, and he’s graciously shared his slides as a resource.
You’ll find a sound suggestion for what not to do: don’t play recorded calls outside because it confuses the birds and annoys other birders. But you’ll mostly find excellent resources for developing your skills. Mr. Gregory particularly recommends the CD Birding By Ear: A Guide to Eastern Bird-Song Identification, narration by Richard K. Walton and Robert W. Lawson: “This is an excellent way to learn songs and calls. Using an interesting approach, the CD places birds in general groups like whistlers, sing-songers, mimics, name-sayers, and high-pitchers.”
Thank you to Kit Sheffield for arranging the presentation. If you are interested in sharing your skills with our members or community, please contact Mr. Sheffield at [email protected]