The sounds of birds form the outdoor playlist of our lives. Birds appeal to the public, in part because of the wide variety of interesting sounds they make. This popularity has led to a long history of amateur participation in ornithology, which has recently produced rapid increases in freely available online databases with hundreds of thousands of bird sounds recorded by birdwatchers. These databases provide unique opportunities for teachers to guide students through processes to learn to identify bird species by their sounds. The techniques we summarize here include combining the auditory components of recognizing different types of sounds birds make with visual components of reading sonograms, widely available visual representations of sounds.

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