Mnemonics Fun

American Goldfinch, molting into breeding plumageTwo weeks ago I talked about bird song mnemonics, and how helpful they can be. Today being April 1, I thought we’d have some fun. Instead of my usual monthly bird quiz, I’ve assembled a list of 15 popular bird songs, translated into English. Can you identify the bird that says each phrase?

If that proves to be too much of a challenge, click on the “continued reading” button for a list of candidates. Answers are at the end, no fooling. Enjoy!

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What’s That, You Say?

Cactus Wren_DesertMuseum-AZ_LAH_4630I admit it—I’m terrible at identifying bird sounds. They can screech and chirp and warble and coo all they want, and I have no idea who’s making the racket. Well, that’s not quite true. I do recognize really easy birds such as a Spotted Towhee, Canyon Wren, Swainson’s Thrush,  Townsend’s Solitaire, or Cactus Wren (right). I can identify a chickadee’s “chick-a-dee-dee-dee,” too, but I can’t tell a Black-capped from a Mountain without looking.

It’s all right to rely on my (rather poor) eyesight during the winter, when there are no leaves on the trees, but I miss too many birds the rest of the year—and if I do see them, I can’t identify them. It’s not from lack of trying. I can listen to a recording and try to fix it in my mind, but a minute later I have no recollection of what I just heard. I need help.

Continue reading “What’s That, You Say?”