Learning birdsong is a difficult, but rewarding undertaking. Highly skilled birders rely on bird vocalizations for many of their field identifications. Some closely related species are only distinguishable in the field by their songs or calls. However, with over 380 species listed on the Austin Region checklist, even learning local birdsong can be an intimidating proposition. Therefore, you are invited to join Jeff Patterson for this class intended to improve your skills with, and understanding of, bird vocalizations.
This class is designed for intermediate birders who want to begin to develop or to sharpen their ear-birding skills. It will focus on the breeding birds and winter Texans that regularly vocalize in the Central Texas area. While learning birdsongs, flight calls, contact calls, scolds and other vocalizations for field identification are the primary goals of the class, it will also include lectures on such topics as: why birds sing; the vocal anatomy of birds; use of spectrograms; dialects; diagnostic birdsongs; resources; and other subjects related to bird vocalization.
The species that vocalize and the types of vocalizations change throughout the year; therefore, the class and subsequent field trips will be held from February into early May. Classroom sessions will be held at a local venue on Wednesday evenings, Feb. 20, Mar. 27, Apr. 17, and May 8, from 6:30-9:00 pm. Local field trips will be held on Saturdays, Mar. 2, Mar. 30, Apr. 20, and May 11, starting at sunrise and progressing to 11:00am or so.
Jeff is a life-long birder who developed a curiosity for birdsong during the 1980s. With the current availability and variety of birdsong resources, he has been able to improve his birdsong knowledge over the past few years and is eager to interact with interested students. Jeff is employed as a technical specialist at the state environmental commission where he often teaches work-related technical classes.
The class tuition is $75 for Travis Audubon members and $90 for non-members. Registration is limited to 15 participants.