Thursday, June 18, 2015

Summer Ear Birding

Every year in early spring I tune up my ears, preparing for the north-bound rush of migrating songbirds. You may have read some of my postings on the subject. Unfortunately, my focus on songbirds has kept me from paying much attention to a whole other group of important bird vocalizations. I realize that it isn't fall migration yet, but I thought I'd take a few minutes on these frequently overlooked summer bird sounds.

We may only just be closing in on summer, but many long distance migrant shorebirds are already finishing up there brief breeding season. During the month of July we see the beginning of the south-bound "Fall" migration. One shorebird group known as "peeps" are notoriously difficult to identify. With a little bit of practice with the vocalizations, though, it might make the process a little bit easier. Often an unknown shorebird flies overhead, but we can't be certain of the ID. If it is calling it could make it much less of a challenge.

My go to resource for learning bird vocalizations has been the Peterson "Birding by Ear" series. That said, here are the tracks you should concentrate on (note that on the west coast there is a Western series):

Name Album Disc # Track #
Shorebirds: Pairs More Birding by Ear, Eastern/Central 3 1
Shorebirds: Plovers More Birding by Ear, Eastern/Central 3 2
Shorebirds: Whistlers More Birding by Ear, Eastern/Central 3 3
Shorebirds: Peepers More Birding by Ear, Eastern/Central 3 4
Shorebirds: Other More Birding by Ear, Eastern/Central 3 5
Shorebirds: Terns More Birding by Ear, Eastern/Central 3 6

If you have a favorite resource for learning shorebird vocalizations, let me know and I'll post it here.

1 comment:

Dominic Garcia-Hall said...

Hey Rob. Had similar idea to prepare for shorebird season - was downloading stuff from Xeno Canto. Surprisingly (or not) a lot less recordings for shorebirds than many other groups.

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