Birding By Ear

Time: TBD
Cost: Free

Hosted by Badgerland Bird Alliance (formerly Madison Audubon) and the Wisconsin Council of the Blind & Visually Impaired

Learning to Identify Birds without Relying on Sight

Just as unique as their coloration and shape, bird sounds come in all tunes and pitches. Identifying birds by their song is an exciting activity and skill, and any experienced bird watcher will tell you that most birding is done without actually seeing the bird, but by hearing it.

This class teaches the techniques for identifying birds by close listening. We welcome participants who are new to the hobby of birding by ear, as well as birders of any level interested in continuing to learn and practice their birding by ear skills. Individuals who have taken this class in previous years will hear some of the same content but are welcome to participate and continue developing their listening skills.

The first session focuses on techniques and context, as well as introduce some of the most common bird songs heard in early May in southern Wisconsin. The second session focuses on strengthening your listen-memory skills and strategies for picking a song out of a chorus. While the class content is geared for Wisconsinites, the skills and techniques learned in this class can be transferred anywhere!

If you have any questions, please call Kathleen Callen at (608) 237-8120 or email her at

A song sparrow with white and reddish-brown feathers sings while sitting on a branch with thorns.
Photo by Mick Thompson.