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3 Best Ways To to Identify Birds By Their Calls

As someone who is passionate about birds, one of the most exciting and fulfilling experiences is being able to identify different bird species by their songs and calls. While some bird species are easy to identify by their distinctive features and behavior, others can be challenging, especially if they are not easily visible. In this post, we will explore three of the best ways to identify birds by their songs and calls.

Using Books, Online Databases, and Field Guides

The Aussie Backyard Bird Count 2022 By BirdLife Australia - binoculars
Image from Unsplash

Books, online databases, and field guides are also great resources for identifying bird songs and calls. There are certain websites that house extensive collections of bird vocalizations that are easy to access and use. While some books and field guides provide descriptions of bird songs and calls as well as illustrations and photographs of bird species to help with identification.

As an ornithologist, I have also written a guide of my own – A Photographic Field Guide To The Birds Of Canberra And The High Country, a resource that is focused on field use to help beginners and experts alike identify bird species in and around the Canberra region.

BirdNET Sound: A Must-Have App For Birdwatchers

Image from apple App Store
Image from Apple App Store

If you know the app “Shazam”, it shares the same concept, except it identifies bird species instead of song titles. The Birdnet sound ID app was co-developed by scientists from both Cornell University and the Chemnitz University of Technology and it uses an artificial intelligence algorithm to identify specific songs and calls of different bird species.

This technology shows promising potential, especially for avid birdwatchers and ornithologists, who often spend a lot of time identifying bird sounds and calls.

Join Birdwatching Communities, Safaris, And Events

Neil Hermes' Safari

Joining birdwatching communities can also be a great way to learn more about identifying bird songs and calls. Online forums and social media groups provide a platform for birdwatchers to share their knowledge, experience, and tips on bird sounds and identification.

You can also participate in birdwatching walks and safaris led by experienced birders who can provide guidance and support in identifying bird songs and calls. Birdwatching is a fun solitary activity, but most underestimate the progress and improvement that can be gained from joining a community, attending an event, or getting in touch with experts on the field.

Identifying birds by their songs and calls can be a challenging but rewarding experience for birdwatchers and ornithologists. With the help of technological tools such as BirdNET Sound ID and online databases and field guides, as well as the support of birdwatching communities, bird identification can become more accessible and enjoyable. So get out there and start listening to the beautiful melodies of our feathered friends! Don’t forget to practice active listening and try to observe the physical characteristics and behaviors of the birds, which can also aid in identifying them by their songs and calls.

Australia is indeed a bird paradise. Visit to book birdwatching walks and safaris around Canberra to different parts of Australia, as well as other stunning locations off the beaten path.

The Best Birdwatching Tours and Safaris in Australia | Neil Hermes: Author, Ornithologist, and Tour Guide

A scientist by background, and a keen author, researcher, tour guide, and ornithologist, Neil traveled to Australia and other parts of the world for decades. His expeditions are fuelled by his unwavering passion for birds, publishing his findings, planning birdwatching safaris, and participating in bird conservation efforts along the way. His passion for both birds and tourism gave him the much needed push to start Neil Hermes Safaris, touring aspiring birdwatchers and enthusiasts around Canberra, and all over Australia.

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