Monday, August 14
12 – 1:30 pm CST
How to Learn Bird Songs
Highlighting warbler songs
Presented by Tom Stephenson
Identifying the warblers and other species singing in the field is one of the most enjoyable and satisfying aspects of birding. However, trying to learn and remember the important ID points of bird vocalizations can be difficult and sometimes very frustrating.
This lecture will cover many new techniques that make it easier to identify singing birds. Based on the system outlined in The Warbler Guide, the lecture will also explain how understanding a song’s structure, using objective, easy-to-hear song qualities, can speed up the identification process and make separating similar-sounding species much easier.
Learning and remembering songs is another important skill for birders. The workshop will also cover the science of memory and learning, and outline a simple, 3-step system that works very effectively for memorizing bird vocalizations and anything else you’d like to remember!
Tom Stephenson is the co-creator of The Warbler Guide book and app, and the BirdGenie song identification app, along with Scott Whittle.
Tom has been birding since he was a kid under the tutelage of Dr. Arthur Allen of Cornell University. His articles and photographs are in museums and many publications including Birding, Birdwatcher’s Digest, Handbook of the Birds of the World, Handbook of the Mammals of the World, Birds of Madagascar, and Guide to the Birds of SE Brazil.
Tom has lectured and guided many groups across the US as well as in Asia, where he trained guides for the government of Bhutan. He has donated numerous recordings of Eastern Himalayan rarities and other Asian species to Cornell’s Macaulay Library of Natural sounds.
In 2014, Tom and Scott set the US record for a Photo Big Day, taking pictures of 208 species in one 24-hour period.
The Warbler Guide is published by Princeton University Press and recently won the National Outdoor Book Award. The Warbler Guide App, for iOS and Android, includes 3D rotating models and won the 2015 Design Award for AAUP Book, Jacket and Journal Show.
His app, BirdGenie, is a “shazam” for bird song that helps bird enthusiasts identify over 150 common vocalizations in eastern and western US by recording them on their smart phone. BirdGenie won the prestigious PROSE award from the American Association of Publishers.
He is currently working on three more books and two apps for Princeton.
Tom holds a patent on technology to identify animal vocalizations using a wide range of analytic criteria.