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ViewPoints 1218 5-2-12 Birding by Ear

The on-line guide to birds & bird watching, “All About Birds”, from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology can be found at:
www.allaboutbirds.org

Here is the contact info for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology:

Cornell Lab of Ornithology
159 Sapsucker Woods Rd.
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 1-800-843-BIRD or 1-800-843-2473
e-mail: cornellbirds@cornell.edu

Also from the Cornell Bird Lab, the Audio guides from the Macaulay Library can be found at:
www.birds.cornell.edu/Shop/AudioGuides.html

You can also find lots of recordings of birds (also mammals, reptiles, amphibians, arthropods and fish) at:
http://macaulaylibrary.org

There are Peterson CD audio guides called “Birding by Ear” for birds from various regions which would be helpful for the visually impaired. Look for them on-line or do a Google search for them.

The Cornell Bird Lab’s “Celebrate Urban Birds” citizen-science project also has some tips for birding for the visually impaired, including links to books, quizzes, and activities:
www.birds.cornell.edu/celebration/resources-for-celebrating/resources-for-visually-impaired

There is even an annual birding competition for the blind modeled after more traditional competitions for the sighted (called Big Days) when birders try to identify as many bird species as possible by sight or sound in a 24-hour period. There’s a big day for the visually impaired in Texas called the “Outta Sight Song Birder Tournament.”. Here is a link to a YouTube video about this event:< br> Big Days birding event video

The blog by Nathan Pieplow and Andrew Spencer about birding can be found at:
http://earbirding.com
They describe how to read spectrograms of bird calls and describe how this is related to the sounds we hear from particular birds.