Tip of the Month (plus an hillarious video)

This tip is courtesy of the Birdng Community E-Bulletin for April 2012.

With the arrival of spring it’s time to begin reviewing the bird sounds that will soon draw many of us into the field. One of the best ways to help you remember these sounds is through the use of mnemonics (pronounced ne-mon-icks). These verbal cues can be used to help us recall and remember bird songs. Mnemonics may be classified in three different ways: the acoustic analogy, the simile, and the forced translation. The acoustic analogy connects the song with a known sound (e.g., a Rusty Blackbird sounding like a squeaky hinge on an old wooden gate); the simile makes an associated connection between species (e.g., an Evening Grosbeak sounding like an enthusiastic and enriched House Sparrow), and the forced translation has the bird saying “words” (e.g., the Olive-sided Flycatcher calling out “Quick, three beers!”).
The best way to remember mnemonics is to use whatever memory-jogger works best for you. You can even make up your own. Remember, you don’t have to accept or use other people’s mnemonics, no matter how well respected the source may be. Use whatever works for you, or whatever helps you become more attuned to listening for bird sounds.

Click on the following link to watch a very funny video that typifies birding:



One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Lynn Sanders on April 8, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    Yes, that is how it is! A funny take on a funny past-time.


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