By Guest Blogger Luis Molina
as I write this blog post! It is a wonderful reminder of the beautiful outdoors, and when I read that SFBBO was hosting a Bird Sound Workshop with Alvaro Jaramillo, I knew it was an opportunity to learn more about bird calls and songs.
Being very new to the world of bird watching, a hatchling if you will, I was slightly nervous when the workshop began. I knew it was going to be rich with new information that was deeply researched, and it definitely is. However, Alvaro led his workshop with an inviting presentation that was built upon by his expertise. Concise bullet points matched with pictures of the bird being discussed made it easy to establish what birds did what. The audio samples included in the slides also made the whole presentation very interactive and fresh.
Alvaro also discussed some of the biological factors that influence bird songs and calls. It was amazing to learn how some birds have their calls and/or songs hardwired into their brains while other birds might have to absorb and learn the calls and/or songs by hearing them in their respective communities. It all amounts to a noise which helps express something for these birds, whether that be mating desires, territorial defence, or simply chatting to see who is out there. At a quick glance, it doesn’t seem that different when compared to human calls and songs, and this made me feel very compassionate and appreciative towards our flying bird friends.
Alvaro and SFBBO did this workshop justice, both for the beginner and experienced participant. I can now step outside and explore my community parks in the Bay Area with more knowledge of bird calls and songs, which is also accompanied by a curiosity of what new bird noises I will hear next. One tool I will definitely use to identify new bird calls and songs is the spectrogram, as well as many other skills I have now gained because of this workshop. Thank you to Alvaro Jaramillo, SFBBO, and the donors who helped provide a scholarship that awarded me the opportunity to learn and broaden my developing interest in birds!
Luis Molina is a first generation student currently beginning his studies at UC Davis majoring in Aerospace Engineering. He enjoys mountain and road biking, watching all kinds of fun and educational YouTube videos, and spending time with family.
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