Birding

The Language of Birds

This morning I went out to the Bybee Lake area for a class put on by Metro called “Introduction to the Language of Birds.” This is the second time I’ve taken a class through Metro, and this was was really great as well.

waterwayWe started out with a quick lesson about the types of bird calls:

  • Alarm
  • Song
  • Young/Begging
  • Contact

Then we walked into the woods where it was our job to listen for the various calls.

The class was less about identifying birds than recognizing the different bird types. Still, I saw a bunch of new birds.

  • Greater Yellowlegs
  • Green Heron
  • Spotted Sandpiper
  • Wilow Flycatcher
  • Western Wood-Pewee

Unfortunately i was using a borrowed camera, so I didn’t get any really great shots.

After we learned about the various calls, we sat for 1/2 hour by ourselves along the path and made a “call map.” The idea was to let the various birds settle down and really listen to their calls. It was a really neat exercise and I wish my sketched map would scan in for me to show you.

At the end we went over our observations and then Dan (the Metro leader) showed us a little skeleton of a predator (maybe a mink) and explained that during one portion of the walk this could have been a type of predator we just didn’t see.

minkEven though it was hot and summer, I was really surprised by the variety of birds we saw and heard. I’ll look for more classes on this subject in the future.