Listening to Bird Songs: a story

Curtis Dykstra is the Parks Naturalist for Ottawa County. He grew up in Grand Rapids and travelled widely with his family. A particularly favorite place of his is South Manitou Island. He grew accustomed to listening to bird songs on the island.
Curtis received a degree in environmental studies at Dordt College and did an internship at Au Sable Institute. While he was in Iowa, he started recognizing bird songs from growing up. He challenged us to identify the bird song that he played. It was a Rooster and everyone knew the song. We all know the song because every child listens to toys that say "the rooster says ..." and we have made up a word (cockle-doddle-doo) that reminds us of the sound.

Listening to Bird Songs: a challenge

Curtis gave us a sheet that had pictures and sonograms of six different birds. He then played the bird songs and challenged us to match them up with the sonograms. Some Rotarians are very good at bird songs.

Listening to Bird Songs: a purpose

Ottawa County has 40 parks containing 7,000 acres of protected land. The goals of the park system are to teach about engaging nature, to value parks, and to connect with place. The Lake Macatawa area has some of the greatest diversity of migrating birds. The migration paths come along the east edge of Lake Michigan and land birds don't like to fly over water so they cross at Holland State Park.
Some birding resources. - Birding resources for Ottawa County - Good resource for birding
Merlin Bird ID App - A bird identification App from Cornell Lab of Ornithology