Showing posts from September, 2020

Getting Started – Birding by Ear with Merlin

If you've been reading my blog, maybe my rambling about birds (coupled with a complete lack of public social life and a yearning for brief relief from constant confrontation with the absurd cruelty of present reality) has inspired a bird curiosity . Maybe you've taken note of the birds singing outside and maybe you've even used your phone to record a few minutes of sound. Nice. In my previous post I hinted at the virtues of listening without assigning labels to sounds, but there is a very big flip-side to that: there is also tremendous value in being able to name the birds you hear. Learning the voice and patterns of specific birds not only develops a general listening proficiency, but adds depths of nuance, associations and connections to a purely aesthetic or utilitarian mode of listening. It can turn a bird sound jumble into a choir of kin. Moving beyond a vague concept of “bird”, a named bird becomes familiar. When you observe the behavior of a named bird, such as a Gr