Saturday, June 11, 2016

to know them by their songs

i used to know a lot of bird songs. in my life after memory impariment, it's harder for me to retain information. things i learned last week disappear. it's not just birdsong, it' s knots i learn, french verbs, people's names, anything i don't do every day.

there are two birding related items on this year's venture vermont challenge: "Learn the calls of three Vermont birds (10 pts)" and "Get up at dawn and go on a bird walk. Attach a list of the birds you saw and heard (15 pts)"

i tried to do this second one last year, but when i got out there at dawn i realized i had NO IDEA what birds i was hearing.

so this spring i got busy with a checklist of birds likely to be found in vermont and an online library of bird songs. i like this checklist because you can configure it for your state and your preferred listing, which is handy if you want the order of it to match your guide or what have you.

here is a good collection of bird song, which comes to us through the cornell lab of ornithology.

every day i try to listen to one grouping at least and try to match the songs with my local birds. i'm having pretty good luck.

for the challenge i have to claim three species that i have learned, and i have chosen three of my neighborhood endemics:

chipping sparrow
grey catbird
american redstart

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