What insect can sing like a bird

Recognize birds by their voices

Recognizing birds by their voice can give you new insights into bird watching

Have you already noticed the concert of bird songs that can be heard again recently in the garden, park and forest?
The blue tit and the great tit recorded their song shortly after Christmas, the blackbird sings in the early morning hours and since the starlings came back it sounds like a whole flock of different bird species are practicing singing. But why this diversity and how can we use it for bird watching?

When a bird sings, it tells you not just who he is and where he is, but also something about his current state. Is he looking for food, looking for a bride, or does he warn conspecifics of a supposed enemy nearby? Some ways like Fitis and Chiffchafflook so similar that WE can only distinguish them by their vocals. Recognizing birds by their voice can give you new insights into bird watching.

But what is the best way to learn to tell a star from a blackbird? We have five tips for you:

1. Seeing and hearing
If you hear a bird sing, try to see it too. Then the connection between bird and song is easier to remember. We humans orientate ourselves mainly visually in our environment. It is rather difficult for us to listen carefully, analyzing, but it can be trained.

2. Learn from an expert
At first it can be difficult to distinguish the many chants and to assign them to the correct birds. It helps to have another bird watcher point this out to you. Take part in a guided tour Excursion of your LBV district group part. Bird watching with like-minded people is fun.

3. Listen to recordings
First, listen to recordings of birds that you see often, e.g. at your feeding station in the garden. Play chants and shouts often so that you become familiar with them. You can find photos of the frequent native bird species, for example, at online LBV species profiles. 
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4. Describe birdsong
Some chants are easy to remember, like the continuous "di da, di da, di da" der Great tit or that or "zizibäh" of the great tit. We can associate words with others - have you ever heard "How how how did I love you" from a tree in an open landscape? Here the goldhammer trills her song. Singing also inspires great artists or is it a coincidence that Beethoven's 5th Symphony is very similar to the singing of the Goldhammersounds? Some birds call their names: Chiffchaffand cuckooare probably the best known.

The often monotonous "Tschip" and "Tschep" from Hariver sparrow and Tree Sparrowis easy to spot and can usually be heard loud and clear throughout the day. On the other hand, it is more difficult to differentiate between the two bird species, as their Tschlipen are very similar.

Some birdsong are similar to noises we know from other areas. The song of the Black redstart remembers, for example, in parts crunching stones or the girl's song to one rusty bicycle chain. Sing a little more melodious and varied blackbird and robin. While the blackbird sonorous flute motifs performs, the robin's song sounds as bright as silver sparkling and melancholy. He probably has the most varied singing star. He lives up to his name and likes to imitate other bird calls.

Whoever hears the loudly resounding “laughter”, a conspicuous “kjückjückjück”, once as the song of Green woodpeckerrecognized, will recognize it again and again. The Wren is a real vocal wonder. When our second smallest native bird starts to sing, its whole body vibrates and its short tail rocks with every rhythmic trill.

If a person were to sing as loud as a wren in proportion, then that would be the song sung on the edge of the Alps can still be heard on the North Sea coast. To recognize the melody of the wren, the motto “I, I, I am drrrrr king, am I, I am zizizi, am drrrr king, am I, I”.


5. Details, details, details
In order to “understand” birds in detail, you need to practice. Learning a new language doesn't happen overnight either. We also have to hear birdsong again and again and assign them correctly so that they stay in our minds - only very few of us learn to speak or twitter.

Mentally break down the singing into its various qualities, including rhythm, pitch, and sound. Try to put the chants you hear into different categories.

Visualization of birdsong in sonograms

Now do you wish that you would also like the Being able to "see" sounds of birdsongto study details? Sonagrams allow you to do just that and can help improve your hearing. They are simple graphs that show you the frequency or pitch of a sound, its volume, and how it changes over the course of the sound. With a little practice, they can reveal a lot more about a sound than your ears alone can tell.

The pitch (or, for the audio connoisseur, the frequency of the sine waves of the sound) on the vertical axis and the Course of the sound over time on the horizontal. In addition, the strength of the gray to black coloring shows the volume of the tone.

Gesang Goldammer - Play here! (www.tierstimmen.de), B. Saadi-Varchmin

If you want to represent chants in sonograms yourself, try the free program RAVEN LITEfrom Cornell University. This allows you to graphically display audio files in various formats (e.g. MP3, WAV) and of course to listen to them.

Very memorable is the possibility to follow the singing and the image at the same time with a mouse pointer. For those who are particularly interested, there are video instructions for Use of the software - but so far only in English.