Monday, March 30, 2015

Identification by Sound

Bewick's Wren
Jeanette and I are relatively new to serious birding, just a few years now. For many years we were dependent on a visual sightings to make a positive identification, but in the last couple of years the list of birds that we can identify by their own unique song or call has been growing,  and now a good number of birds we can identify just by their sound. It really adds to the enjoyment of the experience to be to be able to instantly recognize an old friend hidden away in the bushes, or completely out of sight high in a tree. Plus it really saves a lot of time when we make up a list on a bird walk not to have to find and see every pesky bird that we hear. This Bewick's Wren in a good case in point.  We are only this year starting to recognize it by its song.  We heard this bird today while birding at Luckiamute Landing State Natural Area.  It was buried deep in the blackberry bushes, but as it continued to sing I became fairly sure it was a Bewick's Wren.  Thanks to an App on our iPhones we confirmed it was the right sound for a Bewick's Wren, and as we played the song the wren came out to have a look. Since we are able to have a clue on this bird just by it's sound it is amazing that this bird we rarely could count before, we now find on almost every trip. As I right this I am surprised to discover when I look back at today's list that of the 23 species we identified today, 19 we can identify by sound alone.

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