Birding By Ear – Songs of Spring with Charlie Quinn

Each spring, one of the first things I delight in is the change in birdsong. Here is a Haiku I was inspired to write earlier this month:

Maple catkins hang,
Green that is too bright to last –
Next, warblers return!

From the arrival of migratory species such as orange-crowned warblers to the spirited conversations between Bewick’s wrens looking to build a nest, the songs of spring beckon me to get outdoors and celebrate spring among our feathered neighbors. In 1995, my very first volunteer project in Oregon was working on the production of a birding by ear guide. This guide was created to teach high school students how to aurally identify birds in bird surveys as part of the Green City Data Program run by the Portland Audubon Society (which has recently changed its name to the Bird Alliance of Oregon).

Nearly thirty years later, this guide has been transferred from cassette to cd, cd to mp3, and is now linked to photo-buttons to continue sharing my love of birding.

Each species is listed separately, so you can listen to whichever species interests you. What makes this series different than just going online and listening to bird vocalizations is that it is Oregon-specific, and I’ve included coaching about how to remember the sounds, what to listen for, and mnemonic hooks that help you use your mental filing system faster. Enjoy!

There is nothing like
Morning light on a warbler!
Sunrise in April.

Birds of Oregon

California Scrub Jay

Steller's Jay

American Crow

American Robin

Pacific Wren

House Finch

Pileated Woodpecker

Northern Flicker

Hairy Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker

Red-Breasted Nuthatch

Black-capped Chickadee

Chestnut-backed Chickadee

Red-winged Blackbird

Brewer's Blackbird

European Starling

Varied Thrush

Spotted Towhee

Dark-eyed Junco

Song Sparrow