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Birding by Ear: Eastern/Central (Peterson Field Guides) Audio CD – Audiobook, April 4, 2002
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Like most bird song CDs, they give you the pseudo-English phrases that help you remember the calls (e.g. "who cooks for you" as a memory aid for the Barred Owl). And at the end of the last CD, they replay all the songs, broken down by habitat, without telling you the names. It's a great test to see if you've mastered the songs.
One thing to note - tracks on the CDs are groups of birds, not individual birds. For example, one track is woodpeckers, which includes 6 different birds. This makes it easy to skip to the particular group that you are studying/learning, which is nice when you are learning the songs. However, it makes it cumbersome if you are looking for a specific bird song. You can't jump directly to the Pileated Woodpecker song, you have to jump to the Woodpeckers and then skip through the track to find it. Frankly, I use the internet if I'm looking for a specific bird song; that's not what these CDs are for. Or, I just look at the booklet that accompanies these CDs, which is what you will do most often once you learn the songs.
I have a few comments regarding a couple of other reviews:
- Someone mentioned that they couldn't rip the CDs to put on their MP3 player. I was able to do this - I have all three of these CDs plus the follow-on "More Birding By Ear" CDs all on one WMA CD that I can play in my car while driving (which was the best way to learn for me).
- One person complained about the small number of warblers on this set. It took me several months to get to a point where I could identify all of the songs in the test at the end. At that point, I was ready for the second set of CDs in the series (More Birding by Ear Eastern and Central North America: A Guide to Bird-song Identification (Peterson Field Guide Audios)). In my opinion, the first set has the right amount to start with. It gives a great sense of accomplishment when you finally master them. I also have the second set, and I don't know that I'll ever learn all of them. Limiting the number on the first set helped motivate me in that I was confident that I could master the entire set (it still took a couple of months).
UPDATE: Just today, as I was walking back to the office after lunch, I heard a bird song from the trees and thought, "OH MY GOD, THAT'S A BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLER!" Until I starting listening to these disks, I didn't know such a bird even existed, much less what it sounded like. I spotted the bird, then looked it up online to confirm. It was a life bird for me! So thrilled that I've learned enough that I can go out in the field and ID birds from their calls. LOVE THESE DISKS.