I can carry a tune and I don’t think I am somehow disabled when it comes to my hearing, but I confess that recognizing an unseen bird from its song alone is not my strong suit as a birder. It’s a skill I am working on.
Sometimes Hector and I play a game in which we take turns testing each other. One of us will play a bird song recording found online and the other one of us will guess which bird was singing. Sometimes we guess correctly, but usually we do not. Hopefully we will get better with time!
The other day I heard what I thought was the sound of quite a few white-throated sparrows singing nearby. I looked high and low but I never did see any white-throated sparrows, so I couldn’t verify the accuracy of my guess right then and there. I did my best to memorize the tune and I raced home to look white-throated sparrows up online. I listened to quite a few recordings and I think my guess was correct.
Can you recognize any birds by their song alone?
PS: I have two links to podcasts from BirdNote to share with you this week and both feature white-throated sparrows: Voices and Vocabularies – Three Hidden Sparrows and Bird Song, Music, and Neuroscience. Enjoy!