Birds are very vocal at times and they give us a great clue as to what bird it is. Eventually as you become better in your birdwatching adventures, it will help to learn some of their sounds and noises.

As you are observing birds that are singing or calling, you can learn to associate that sound to that bird. That is the beginning and it is almost automatic. When you hear a bird, but do not see it, then you will either recall one you have seen and be able to ID it, or you can start studying the sounds so the next time you can know what the unseen bird is.

There are several methods that birders use. Audio CDs and computer programs have Bird sounds along with photos of the bird to assist your learning.

The Internet has places like the WhatBird, All About Birds, Birding by Ear Basics,

Here is an interesting video about blind people birding by ear. Very interesting.

Here are some of the birds you may already know. These are local birds here, but also seen around other parts of the country. Also a very nice verse to remember while “birding by sound.” I used this verse when taking my General Amateur License test that was all Morse Code. It helped calm my heart even though it refers to the Lord hearing us, but it helped me to hear those dots and dashes. (Only 8 of 115 of us passed the test that day.)

LORD, thou hast heard the desire of the humble: thou wilt prepare their heart, thou wilt cause thine ear to hear: (Psalms 10:17 KJV)

All of these sounds are coming from the website.

Blue Jay in tree at Hampton Pines
Blue Jay in tree at Hampton Pines
Click for the sound of a Blue Jay
Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) by Daves BirdingPix 
Click for the sound of a Northern Cardinal

Boat-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus major) at Lake Howard, Winter Haven, Florida By Dan’sPix 
Click for the sound of a Boat-tailed Grackle

Red-winged Blackbird at Bok Sanctuary
Red-winged Blackbird at Bok Sanctuary 
Click for the sound of a Red-winged Blackbird

Whip-poor-will (Caprimulgus vociferus) by BirdsInFocus
Whip-poor-will (Caprimulgus vociferus) by BirdsInFocus 
Click for the sound of a Eastern Whip-poor-will

Great Horned Owl – Lowry Pk Zoo by Lee
Click for the sound of a Great Horned Owl

How many did you all ready know?

Some like to put words to their sounds like these from Birding By Ear — Bird Song Identification

Listen here to a few bird songs and calls that have good mnemonic phrases:
Eastern Towhee — “Drink your tea-ea-ea”
Whip-poor-will — The name says it all.
Black-capped chickadee — Some music and talk first, then the “Chick-a-dee-dee-dee”
White throated sparrow — “Poor Sam Peabody, Peabody, Peabody”
Black-throated green warbler — “Zee zee zee zoo zee”
Barred Owl — “Who cooks for you, who cooks for you all”

Birding By Ear — Bird Song Identification
All About Birds
Birding by Ear Basics

Other Posts in our Start Birding today Series:

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