One of the challenges facing birdwatchers is to find and identify birds that wish to remain hidden, safe among tree branches. And considering the fact that there are around 10,000 different species of birds in the world, approx 2000 of those in North America alone, it can seem a little overwhelming.
Fortunately there are many clues a birdwatcher can use to discover the type of bird they wish to view. Consider the birds location and the type of habitat they live in, both of which can limit what species a bird might be. A good pair of binoculars will also help identify physical characteristics such as shape, size and color of plumage.
Another way of identifying a bird is through its call or song. Birds use their songs as a mean of communication and each call is unique to its own species. They have the capacity to make a wider variety of sounds than humans can, controling their breathing so well, it sounds like they aren’t breathing at all as they sing.
Being able to recognize birds by their songs alone is referred to as birding by ear. It takes practice to acquire this skill, but it can prove to be of great benefit when searching through the foliage with your binoculars alone isn’t enough. Additionally, birding by ear adds a rich dimension to the bird watching experience.
When learning to bird by ear, most people practice in their yard first. It’s easier to make out the sounds of birds you are already familiar with. You can match the sounds you hear with the birds they belong to my listening to audio clips of bird songs on the internet. The best time to listen for bird calls is early in the morning when the air is cool and the noise level is low.
Just as briding-by-ear is an effective tool in identifying bird types, a set of EyeShields will make it easier for you to determine bird species by preventing early morning glare, shielding your binocular view from ambient lighting and improving the overall effectiveness of your field optics.