Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Seven methods of identifying birds:
#4: Sounds

This post continues the discussion of the Seven methods of identifying birds.
[Answer to Quiz 3: Short-billed and Long-billed Dowitchers]


Some birds sing to attract a mate or declare their territory. Some birds have alarm calls, feeding calls, and flight calls--all different. In woodpeckers, drumming takes the place of song, and the drumming pattern of many woodpeckers are unique. Certain birds make distinctive sounds with their wings or tail feathers.

Some people do have poor hearing. But most people just need practice listening. You already know some bird sounds, even if it is only Old MacDonald who has a duck that goes "quack, quack." Build from there. Find a sound you don't recognize and track it down. Add it to your auditory birding repertoire.

Quiz) A deep, resonating, bubbly "oong-ka-loonk" coming from a grassy marsh in spring.

Next: Expectation: Status, Distribution, Habitat