Attention all Ohio birders! (And any other birders who might want to travel to Ohio!) I want to tell you about a very special birding by ear workshop that's coming up at the end of May. It's the 5th annual Birding by Ear weekend workshop, being held at the Wilds from May 29-31. If you've been to the Wilds before, you know what an amazing place it is. If you have not been before, this would be a great "excuse" for you to go. Here's a brief synopsis of the weekend, as listed on their site:
- Learn from regional experts on birding research and sound ID
- Find new list birds for the un-birded Wilds
- Birding by canoe
- Bird banding demo
- Enjoy quiet nights around a campfire
- Attract hawks with broadcasts
- Search for owls and whippoorwills after dark
- Explore the lands of the Wilds and AEP
- Four catered meals provided by the Wilds' restaurant (Sat morning to Sun morning)
- Bunk in Mongolian yurts for 2 nights (modern showerhouse is available)
To help me get prepared for both this trip and spring migration in general, I have two books that I'm using:
The Backyard Birdsong Guide (available for both eastern and western North America) is written by Donald Kroodsma, a "recognized expert on bird songs," according to the Cornell Lab. The book was written in conjunction with the lab, and all of the recordings are from the lab's own Macaulay Library. I haven't compared them, but I bet many of the recordings are the same as the ones on the lab's All About Birds pages. This book is unique in that it has an audio player built right into the book. The book also features range maps for each bird featured, as well as multiple recordings for most of the birds.
The Songs of Wild Birds by Lang Elliott comes with a CD that showcases the songs and sounds of 50 different birds, along with some commentary by the author. The book contains beautiful color photos of each featured bird, many of them actually caught in the act of singing.
A third tool in my birding by ear toolbox is a CD put out by the Ohio Division of Wildlife, and it features the songs of the 99 most common birds of Ohio. (Ever notice that Cardinal wildlife icon over in my sidebar? The purchase of these special Cardinal license plates helps to support the Division of Wildlife, and to make projects like this CD possible.)
So, my fellow Ohio birders, are you up for some good birding fun at the end of May? If so, I'll see you at the Wilds!
By the way, I have a funny little "you know you're a bird geek when..." story to share. The other night Dave and I were watching an episode of Star Trek: Voyager, and there were some birds on the planet they were exploring. Funnily enough, the song of the Eastern Wood Pewee (one of my favorites!) was used a couple of times. The first time we heard it, we were like, "Wait, was that a Pewee?" The second time we heard it, we knew it without a doubt. Yes friends, they have Pewees in the Delta quadrant - who knew?!