$29 - Learning Birdsong Workshop
About This 2-Part Course
Join Tom Stephenson, co-author of "The Warbler Guide" for this 2-Part course.

Identifying the warblers and other species singing around us is one of the most enjoyable and satisfying aspects of birding. However trying to learn and remember bird vocalizations can be very difficult! And the transliterations in current field guides don’t help very much.

In this talk we’ll discuss more objective and useful approaches, using spectrograms and objective terms, which can really help you hear more accurately. We’ll then apply these techniques to a few sets of confusing vocalizations to show how spectrograms are a powerful way of studying and separating similar-sounding songs.

Then we’ll tackle a really important skill: memorization. We will cover the science of memory and learning, and see what techniques have proven effective for all kinds of memorization tasks.

We’ll then explore a simple 3-step memorization system that Tom has used many times to memorize 300 or more songs for a trip to a new country.
This Course Has 2 Sections
  • Tuesday, June 9, 2020
    Learning Birdsong with Tom Stephenson [Part 1]
    In this talk we’ll discuss more objective and useful approaches, using spectrograms and objective terms, which can really help you hear more accurately. We’ll then apply these techniques to a few sets of confusing vocalizations to show how spectrograms are a powerful way of studying and separating similar-sounding songs. We’ll also discuss using Song Finders and the best approaches to identifying an unknown song. You’ll learn how understanding a song’s structure, and the characteristics of the Elements and Phrases that make up a song, can speed up the identification process and even make it easier to remember all kinds of vocalizations. We’ll then take a “virtual” bird walk through Prospect Park and discover how the concepts we learned can help us identify the different species and understand what’s unique about their songs and calls.
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  • Tuesday, June 16, 2020
    Learning Birdsong with Tom Stephenson [Part 2]
    Following up on our first talk, we’ll first take another short “virtual” walk to discuss some more vocalizations from our eastern migrants and review some of the concepts we discussed. Then we’ll tackle a really important skill: memorization. We will cover the science of memory and learning, and see what techniques have proven effective for all kinds of memorization tasks. We’ll then explore a simple 3-step memorization system that Tom has used many times to memorize 300 or more songs for a trip to a new country.
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