If you are envious of the people who are able to tell what the bird is right off the bat after listening to a bird song for a few seconds, here are some ideas for you to get started on your new study session of learning the songs.
· Identify the most common species seen in your area of exploration
The first thing for you to do is to identify which species of birds are usually heard commonly in the areas you want to go birding at. Unless you have a photographic memory then there is no way for you to learn and remember all the bird songs. So when you are starting off then getting at least the most common songs down will be the best choice of action.
· Field guides for songs
There are field guides, gadgets and pieces of technology made for birders and birder beginners to help them through (and guide them through) the process of becoming pro birders. Usually the books tells you what kind of tune or style of singing you need to listen to in order to identify the particular bird (going for YouTube videos of bird calls help too) and sometimes the easier thing to help you get used to the bird is identify it through binoculars in the wild or when working in a conservation centre with the whole electrical safety check services process and listen to the tune coming from the bird.
One of the gadgets in the market for the identification of birds is the ‘iFlyer’ which looks like a pen and you have to swipe through a barcode to listen to that particular song. The wand comes with a guide book which has the pictures that are also linked to the bird call.
Bird call: personal version
When you first hear the bird call and you are not able to identify the bird (hidden among foliage and with testing and tagging signs missing) then the first thing is to describe what the call sounds like to yourself and try imitating it (give it your best shot and you might actually nail it the first time). Sometimes the calls sound like someone screaming abuses or words, being choked, or some other version (try not to be thrown off by a bird making ambulances or police car sounds). Make mental notes or actual written notes of significant characteristics of calls that you find interesting or weird. You should probably note down the highs and lows of the tones.
Bird calls are different from one species to another and sometimes they can be really weird and scary to hear (peacock’s calls sound like a woman being killed and the blue jay call sounds like the bird screaming ‘thief’) so keep in mind your own version of what it sounds like so it’s easier for you to identify the bird next time.