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Birding by Ear (2-part series)

  • Wisconsin Council of the Blind & Visually Impaired // Pheasant Branch Conservancy Madison, WI United States (map)

BIRDING BY EAR: Learning to identify birds without sight

Just as unique as their coloration and shape, bird songs come in all tunes and pitches. Identifying birds by their song is an exciting activity and skill, and any experienced bird watcher will tell you that most birding is done without actually seeing the bird, but by hearing it.

Particularly geared toward individuals who experience vision loss or impairment, this class teaches the techniques and songs for identifying birds by close listening. The first day will involve classroom-based learning, exploring the various songs of common bird species for June in Pheasant Branch Conservancy. The second day will take place at Pheasant Branch Conservancy, where a wide, flat, gravel/boardwalk path will take us through wooded habitat to practice our new-found skills.

The outdoor portion of the class will offer sighted assistants at a 2:1 ratio to help participants safely maneuver through the park. Participants are encouraged to bring your own friends or loved ones to serve as your sighted guide instead; please indicate that in the registration form. Service animals are welcome, but please note that leashed dogs are also allowed in the park.

Co-organized with the Wisconsin Council of the Blind and Visually Impaired

Dates, times and locations:
Indoor portion: June 2, 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. at the conference room in the Wisconsin Council for the Blind and Visually Impaired (754 Williamson Street)
Outdoor portion: June 16, 8:00-10:00 a.m., Pheasant Branch Conservancy, Marina Drive location*

Registration fee: $20.00 per person
Taught by: Kerry Wilcox

*For the hike at Pheasant Branch, we will meet at the trailhead on Marina Drive. Parking is available along Marina Drive, and Bus Route 78 drops off at Century Avenue and Marina Drive. If riding the bus, we encourage you to ride past the Marina Drive east-bound stop; the bus will turn around just a couple blocks down the street. Get off on the Marina Drive west-bound stop. This will prevent you from needing to cross Century Avenue without a stoplight.

Registration opens April 23. MAS membership not required.