Going bird watching can be a very fun experience for anyone. People of all ages really enjoy watching what birds land in their backyard or sing from the trees up above. While this is a fun way to get in touch with nature and the world around us, I often wonder how to identify birds by their songs. This idea really had me thinking and so I did some research to figure out a way to help my kids learn this concept of identifying birds by their songs. I wanted to share some of the information with you today so that you can start naming that bird by their song, a concept that’s called “birding by ear”.
How to Start Identifying Birds By Their Songs
Focus and Analyze
Since there may be many birds singing at once, it may be difficult to hone in on one bird song over the rest. That’s why it’s important to really open your ears when you’re “birding by ear”. Learning the various songs of the most common birds that frequent your backyard will take a lot of focus at first as you figured out which bird is singing which song.
Figured Out the Syllables
One of the more common birds to identify is the Barrel Owl as their song sounds much like “who cooks for you”. The syllables of the bird songs will help you to identify birds by their songs. Take a moment to listen to the number of notes, also referred to as syllables, and the tone of each note to help you identify your backyard birds by their songs.
Make a Memory Hook
Once you’ve figured out the syllables of each bird song you can easily make some sort of memory hook, such as the Barrel Owl’s “who cooks for you” as a means to remember which bird song is related to the specific bird breed. The Common Yellowthroat bird has a note that sounds like “witchity-witchity-witchity” but you may find another memory hook helps you remember this bird breed when identifying this bird by its song.
Download Song Sleuth
This app is available for both Apple and Android devices here. Song Sleuth will help you learn the bird songs so that you can better identify your backyard birds by their song. You simply use Song Sleuth to listen to the birds around you and the app will use your recording to help tell you what bird species you’re hearing so that you can save this identifier to help get used to what bird songs belong to which bird breed.
Being able to identify birds by their songs is a fun way to spend quality time with family outside. Not only does this “birding by ear” concept help you enjoy more of your backyard together, but it’s a fun way to help teach your kids about the bird species that frequent your local region. Using my tips to help you start identifying birds by their songs will surely help you and your kids appreciate the birds on a deeper level as you learn their songs and more about their singing habits.