AUBURN – Winter is almost over, and the birds will soon begin to migrate back to Maine to breed. Those who want to know what birds make which sounds in the spring can learn at the Stanton Bird Club meeting at 7 p.m. Monday, April 4, at the High Street Congregational Church.

Tom Hayward of Bates College and an officer of the club will discuss “Identifying Birds by Their Sounds.” The program is free and all are welcome.

Hayward is a frequent leader of field trips in the Lewiston/Auburn area and around Maine. He began bird watching at an early age with his grandmother and has enjoyed it ever since.

“At the beginning you can learn the birds by the obvious field marks like color, flight patterns, wingbars and eye-rings, but as you get to know the birds better, you start to learn the songs and calls. This way you can identify a bird without actually seeing it.” said Hayward.

Identifying birds by their sounds means listening carefully for the rhythm and patterns of the notes in songs and calls. The difference between a bird song and a bird call has to do with the message being conveyed by the bird.

Male birds use melodious songs to attract a female during breeding season. All year, both male and female birds use various calls to communicate with other birds, sound an alarm of danger nearby and call to the young in the nest.

Hayward will feature several methods to learn the sounds of birds, such as tapes, CDs, sonograms, mnemonics and written descriptions.

The next meeting of the Stanton Bird Club on May 2 will be “Living in Stale Air: Pros and Cons of Burrow-Nesting in Birds” with Ryan Bavis, assistant professor of biology at Bates College.

The club is a conservation organization offering free monthly natural history programs and field trips throughout the state. The club welcomes new members, whose dues help to provide land stewardship at three sanctuaries owned and managed by the club in Lewiston and Monmouth. For more information, call 782-5238 or visit the Web at www.avcnet.org/stanton.


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