Birding by Ear Workshop & Field Trip – May 14th, 2016

May 14, 2016 @ 6:30 am – 12:00 pm
Canosia Wildlife Management Area

Black-throated Blue Warbler by Laura Erickson It’s spring! The migrating birds are moving north from their wintering grounds and they’re being vocal about it! For some of you, the annual memory recall of all the bird songs you know and love starts again. If you’ve found yourself asking “Which one is that one? I know that call – it’s in there somewhere!” or if you’re wondering which bird makes that call you’re hearing all the time, then this workshop is for you!

Spend a half-day out in the field learning some of the tricks of the trade, when it comes to birding by ear. Jessica Chatterton and Margie Menzies will help you improve your birding skills by learning distinct songs and calls to pin down the bird that made the sound. These strategies can be especially important in habitat areas where it may be difficult to see secretive birds, like in a marsh. We’ll talk about mnemonics, sonograms, and similar-sounding species. We’ll also learn about grouping families together and by habitat. There are a number of strategies and resources that can help you be a better birder. Join us for a wonderful birding by ear expedition!

Song Sparrow by Laura EricksonMeet at 6:30 am at the Canosia Wildlife Management Area. From highway 53 just beyond the Duluth Airport turn right on Lavaque Bypass Road (also CSAH 48, may also be called Ugstad Rd) Within about a half mile, turn left on Township 284 (also Ugstad Rd), Ugstad Rd will then come to a T at Canosia. Turn right and there will be a parking area on the left. It is small, leave room so other can park as much as possible, then use the edge of the road if needed.

Bring your binoculars, a spotting scope if you’d like, and of course your ears! Dress for spring weather (layers), waterproof shoes are recommended, and bring water and any snacks you might need. We will finish by mid to late morning depending on how cooperative the birds and the weather turn out to be. If weather is uncooperative, we will still meet at Canosia W.M.A., group up, and listen for what we can hear and then caravan to an indoor location for class session.

Cost: $30 for Members of Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory, Hartley Nature Center, Friends of Sax-Zim Bog, and/or Minnesota Master Naturalists OR $40 for others.

Select Member or Non Member

Workshop is limited to 12 participants; minimum of 6.


Field Trip Leaders

JESSICA CHATTERTON is a Researcher in the Ornithology Lab at the Natural Resources Research Institute and a graduate student in the Integrated Biosciences Program at the University of Minnesota, Duluth. She has worked on several bird census projects throughout Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, and Ontario for the past several years including the Minnesota Breeding Bird Atlas Project and the Great Lakes Coastal Wetland Monitoring Project. She is experienced in many techniques necessary for bird identification in a variety of different habitats such as bird song/call recognition and bird habitat associations.

MARGIE MENZIES spent years in the formal classroom and has abandoned the indoors for the great outdoor classroom. During the summer, Margie is the naturalist at Sugarloaf Cove Nature Center up the North Shore in Schroeder. She works as a freelance naturalist and education consultant for a variety of organizations, such as Hartley Nature Center, Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory, and has also worked at the Great Lakes Aquarium in Duluth. She has a BA from Bethel University and a MA from University of St. Thomas. She loves birds, learning, and sharing the natural world with people of all ages, and has participated in the Forest Bird Point Count Research listening for bird songs in the field in the past. Margie joined the Hawk Ridge staff in 2011 and is currently the Public Program Director.

Image Credits: Laura Erickson