Learning to identify unseen birds by their call opens up a whole new level of awareness and mindfulness about what is going on around you, and what creatures are busy nearby.
The number of different bird songs is vast. Turning them into sentences or phonetic words or phrases can help us remember them.
Some good resources for learning bird song mnemonics:
- http://www.fernbank.edu/Birding/mnemonics.htm – organized by bird types.
- http://www.stanford.edu/~kendric/birds/birdsong.html – alpha order on bird names.
Dense Brushy Habitat
- Yellow Breasted Chat – loud singer
From Tallest perches
- Indigo Bunting
Singing while moving around in trees
Blue Gray Gnatcatcher
Ruby Crowned Kinglet
Eastern Wood Pewee – “Pee-weee! Pee-woooo!”
Easter Phoebe – “Phoebe-e-e-!” sounds almost peeved at the end
Using a checklist can help eliminate and narrow down to possible species.
- Chapel Hill Bird Club’s list: http://chbc.carolinanature.com/trichk.pdf
- You can also look up specific locations in ebird.org and get a listing of all the birds seen in that area in a given month/year range.