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Peterson Field Guide(R) to Western Birding by Ear: A Guide to Bird Song Identification (Peterson Field Guides, No 413 Audio Cassettes and Booklet) Audio, Cassette – Audiobook, May 21, 1990

4.5 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Ever wonder what that trill in the backyard is? Or how to distinguish between all those similar warbler songs? Try Birding by Ear. This great resource for birders all over western North America conveniently packages three cassettes and an accompanying booklet into a single videocassette-like box. Each tape groups bird species according to acoustic similarity in order to help you learn the basics of bird-song identification. Soon you'll know just by listening whether the bird skulking underneath the bushes is an orange-crowned warbler, a chipping sparrow, or a dark-eyed junco.

About the Author

Roger Tory Peterson, one of the world's greatest naturalists, received every major award for ornithology, natural science, and conservation, as well as numerous honorary degrees, medals, and citations, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The Peterson Identification System has been called the greatest invention since binoculars, and the Peterson Field Guides® are credited with helping to set the stage for the environmental movement.
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Product Details

  • Series: Peterson Field Guides, No 413 Audio Cassettes and Booklet
  • Audio Cassette
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin; Book&Csstt edition (May 21, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0395528119
  • ISBN-13: 978-0395528112
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,501,937 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I've birded for a number of years but I wanted to be able to distinguish birds by their calls, especially the shy ones. This CD volme was the perfect introduction. Dick Walton's informal, almost folksy, comments made for enjoyable listening and learning. Sure there are only 91 species but one great sampling. Now that he has taught me "hooks" and "handles" I have graduated to using the Stokes CDs, but at least I can now differentiate closely related songs thanks to Mr. Walton.

If you are new to bird songs, please start with this volume. In contrast the Stokes volume presents the songs, but no commentary. It is up to you to find the hooks and handles and figure out how to memorize all the songs.

BTW, I disagree with Mr Walton on one bird. He says the California Quail is calling "Chicago, Chicago." In my field experience I am sure it is looking for "Atlanta, Atlanta."

Great CD, buy it!
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Format: Audio Cassette
As someone who is interested in improving their birding skills, I found this an excellent guide. The authors begin by explaining some basic bird facts related to vocalizations. They proceed with the recordings, which are grouped into birds with similar songs (the authors refer to this as "pairing"). This improves the listners ability to correctly identify the song with the bird. The last portion of the auditory cassette places the birds into habitat groupings without the identification of the bird. This section can be used as a test of the listners abilities or to help familiarize the listner with where each bird can most probably be found. This in turn helps the reader correctly identify birds in the field by narrowing the possibilities. Finally, the tapes have an accompaning written guide. Each bird is listed with a black and white drawing, habitat type and a written description of the song/call. The authors also reference the page number to Petersons Field Guide of Western Birds and provide a space where the listner can write his/her comments. All in all, this is an excellent resource.
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This CD was recommended by two local bird gurus as being the best for someone to begin learning songs and calls of western (USA) birds. I have accumulated other bird song and call CDs over the years and lost interest in learning. The Western Birding By Ear has held my interest and is the best CD to date.
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If your just starting out in birding, this is a great place to begin. As it mentions in the introduction on the cd, while you look only one direction, you hear 360 degrees. I've noticed a lot more birds since I started learning their songs.
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This CD is great. I am a Naturalist and have taught in nature for many years. I decided to update my old audio tape set (yes, that is how long I have been teaching) of bird sounds with a CD. This wasn't exactly what I was looking for, which was a reference for all the different bird sounds I might encounter, but in some ways it was even better. It is a tutorial that teaches the listener how to recognize different types of sounds from the same species, as well as how to identify many common species by placing them into groups according to their song type. It is interesting and informative to listen to. I learned many new things about avian communications, as well as reinforcing things I already new. I really like the way this cd was done, especially the way it is narrated. I am still looking for a field reference that is more comprehensive, but this cd turned out to be a delight, even though it wasn't exactly what I was looking for.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I've been using the Eastern cds and am about to move out west, so picked this one up. Not anything exciting you would play for having company over, but has been perfect for me to study birdsong in groups that make sense while I'm driving in my car.
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Although I am an experienced birder and despite the fact that many of the species covered in the guide are not found in my area, I believe this product has a lot to offer. Most importantly, it teaches listeners to identify subtle variations in songs and calls, and suggests several "tools" useful for creating memory aids. Learning to recognize inflections or to associate a particular phonetic unit with a song is beneficial in creating a personal "key" by which the birder can then refer to physical or electronic field guides to confirm an identification. Think of the species' calls in this guide as examples of bird song, not as something to be memorized in and of themselves; by learning what to listen FOR, you can then move on to making an identification with other aids.
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I love it but I didn't get the written booklet that is supposed to come with the CDs. Is there a way I can get one? The last part where birds songs are unidentified is great but I wish I knew if I was identifying them correctly. Love to get a copy bscastle4100@sbcglobal.net.
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