locked Re: Introduction / California thrasher

Steve Taylor

It was free on Apple. But it’s hard to beat Marlin Bird ID

On Jun 6, 2020, at 12:39 PM, Joyce Rybandt <jrybandt@earthlink.net> wrote:


A heads up. I was considering installing the Bird Genie app and followed the link from Alvaro. I recommend you read the reviews on the app before buying and installing. The reviews look to be recent. It seems to have some frustrating problems. On Android several people mentioned that the app fills the photo gallery with photos of birds, which is not good if you don't have lots of storage space.

Joyce Rybandt

-----Original Message-----
From: EBB-Sightings@groups.io [mailto:EBB-Sightings@groups.io] On Behalf Of Alvaro Jaramillo
Sent: Friday, June 5, 2020 12:46 PM
To: 'Alia.S.' <ealiasalim@gmail.com>; EBB-Sightings@groups.io
Subject: Re: [EBB-Sightings] Introduction / California thrasher

Regarding apps, one you may want to try is BirdGenie http://www.birdgenie.com/
It was created by Tom Stephenson a friend of mine, but admit that I have yet to use it as my brain wired to bird song before cell phones were even a viable idea. But the technology behind it is very cool, you record a song and it identifies the birds for you. If you can find articles by Tom regarding how to think about and visualize bird song, I would recommend doing that. He has developed a pretty consistent language to describe bird song.
Now, old school, here is what worked for me. When you hear something that you don't recognize, chase it down. Focus on the sound, and follow it until you can visually identify the bird. The connection your brain makes with the sound, the image, and the time you are focused and searching is like no other tool. You will miss a bunch, and that is ok. But as you learn you will find that you have to chase down fewer and fewer until you realize that you know ALL of the birds in your home patch. That is an amazing accomplishment, and from there you expand to wider areas geographically and for some magical reason birds become easier and easier to learn as you know more of them.
California Thrasher - to me the name has always been more Skate Punk than metal, but I know what you are saying.

Have fun.

Alvaro Jaramillo

-----Original Message-----
From: EBB-Sightings@groups.io <EBB-Sightings@groups.io> On Behalf Of Alia.S.
Sent: Friday, June 5, 2020 11:59 AM
To: EBB-Sightings@groups.io
Subject: [EBB-Sightings] Introduction / California thrasher

Hi all! I’ve been lurking on the list for the past month but wanted to introduce myself: my name is Alia; I live in Berkeley and am a very beginner birder (like … genuinely still pretty excited about the difference between ravens and crows).

I’ve always been curious about birding, but a few things aligned for me recently to actually try it. Like a lot of people I found myself with more opportunity and motivation to pay attention to birds due to the shelter-in-place order. I also recently upgraded my ancient cell phone to one that can run the Merlin Bird ID app. I’m guessing there’s a range of opinions on being tech-dependent, but it has made a big difference—especially since I often go by bicycle and prefer not to carry guidebooks.

Anyway, the high point of my week was seeing my first California thrasher on Frowning Ridge above South Park Drive on Wednesday. I heard a weird, garbled racket in the coyote brush that at first I thought might be an injured gopher or rabbit. When I followed the sound I found the bird in the same laurel tree where I saw my first lazuli bunting a few weeks ago. The beak makes for a beginner-friendly ID, and I love the name⁠—very metal. 🤘🏾

I would like to be able to identify more common local species by ear and wondered if others could suggest any good resources for learning how. I would also be interested in going (masked and distanced) birding with more experienced birders one day: if you're feeling charitable and bird in Tilden or Wildcat Canyon, let me know!

Happy Friday,


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