Birding By Ear

Online Date: April 29 to May 8, 2021
Online Time: 6 p.m. or 10 a.m.
Cost: $20*

All sessions are currently at capacity.

Hosted by Madison Audubon and the Wisconsin Council of the Blind and Visually Impaired

Learning to Identify Birds without Relying on Sight

Just as unique as their coloration and shape, bird songs 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 will focus 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 will focus 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!

Fully Accessible Class

In 2021, the class sessions will be held entirely online and specially designed to serve those who experience vision impairment or loss, as well as individuals with full sight. Materials will be available digitally. If unable to access them, we can send large font or braille options. Let us know at least two weeks prior to the event to prepare and mail the materials.

Dates, times and locations:

We are offering a weeknight date and a weekend date for both class sessions to accommodate varying schedules. When you register, you will select 1 of the 2 date options for each session.

First session:   April 29, 6:00-8:00 p.m. or May 1, 10:00-12:00 p.m. Note: Both sessions are at capacity.

Second session: May 6, 6:00-8:00 p.m. or May 8, 10:00-12:00 p.m.   Note: Both sessions are at capacity.

Registration fee: $20.00 per person whether attending 1 or 2 sessions; scholarships to cover registration fee are available – request when registering
Enrollment cap: 25 individuals per class
Taught by: Kerry Wilcox

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