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Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Birding by Ear

On my morning walk in heavy fog this morning I found 24 bird species (easily reaching my Bird RDA). But how many did I actually see?

Seen only after hearing first--13
Heard only--7

That means I only saw four species (Mallard, Rock Pigeon, European Starling, and Song Sparrow) that I saw before hearing. Just goes to show how important it is to know bird calls and songs to a) find birds that are out of visual range and/or b) locate birds to watch.

Here's the seven species that I only heard this morning:
Red-bellied Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Blue Jay, American Crow, Carolina Wren, Northern Mockingbird, and House Sparrow

Being able to identify these birds by sound was the difference between reaching my Bird RDA before breakfast, or having to leave for work with unfinished bird business!

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