You’ve just stepped outside and there’s an unfamiliar chirping nearby. A quick look around and there is no bird in sight, but the song keeps coming. Frustratingly, you have no idea who is singing. On top of that, you hear a bunch of other birds in the distance.
It’s happened to all of us. That’s why we developed this course.
Jump-start Your Birding-by-Ear Skills
Master techniques for identifying bird songs that you can apply to learning the birds in your area.
- Build skills using exclusive learning tools
- Identify birds using real soundscapes
- Get expert tips from Cornell Lab staff
Bird Song Spotlight Tool
Bird Academy has developed a unique approach to teach you how to listen to bird songs in their natural soundscapes. Watch the video below to see it in action:Photo: Ryan Schain/Macaulay Library, Kevin J. McGowan, Isaac Sanchez/CC BY 2.0. Audio: Gregory F Budney/Macaulay Library
Travel across the country exploring real soundscapes with Dr. Sarah Wagner as your guide. She’ll introduce you to an exciting variety of wild voices and bring in Cornell Lab experts to teach you tips and tricks for learning to identify them.
You’ll explore 7 natural soundscapes and get to know 18 featured birds before unleashing your new listening skills on a mystery soundscape. You’ll watch field clips of birds singing, get to know their songs, and then learn to recognize them in context with our Bird Song Spotlight tool. This exclusive learning tool harnesses your visual brain to help you master the tricky task of identifying individual songs from a busy soundscape. This course is all about building techniques that you can immediately apply when you encounter new birds. The skills you’ll develop will bring your bird-watching enjoyment to a new level.
The online course is self-paced so you can take it at your own speed and come back to it as often as you wish. For your convenience it is designed to work on all modern web browsers and devices. The course is completely online.
How to Identify Bird Songs uses a unique teaching approach. Travel North America visiting real soundscapes.
Included for Free: Cornell Guide to Bird Sounds
This authoritative audio collection from the Cornell Lab’s Macaulay Library is included as a free bonus with the course to help you learn the voices of the birds that live near you. Within the course, you’ll receive online access to this digital collection featuring the most common songs and calls of 729 North American species with more than 1,300 mp3 files included. Another great tool for your birding-by-ear toolbox!
Sign up for How to Identify Bird Songs and get the Cornell Guide to Bird Sounds free!
Meet the Course Author
Dr. Sarah Wagner
Sarah Wagner is a course developer for the Cornell Lab’s Bird Academy. An accomplished field researcher specializing in feeding biology of birds, Sarah has worked all over the continent and has years of professional experience identifying birds by ear. She is co-author of the Cornell Lab’s university-level online Ornithology course and a public educator in the Lab’s visitor center.