The Sound of Music: Birding by Ear


The herald of spring, marked by the tree top cacophony of our feathered friends, need no longer be a mystery. Learn to recognize the songs and calls of both migratory and native bird species, along with their ground-dwelling neighbors, with our Audubon expert.

There's a lot to look forward to in nature every spring, including the welcome hullabaloo of birdsong. The sheer volume of songs and calls often seem overwhelming to birders; but each of these sounds offer the curious opportunity and challenge. Our latest course will help you build your birding skills—and love of birds—by learning how to bird-by-ear. We’ll begin by growing familiar with neighborhood voices, distinctive migrant songs, and the wonders of nature's lesser-known musicians: frogs, toads, mammals, and stridulating insects.

Instructor: Ken Elkins

Five Wednesdays
March 13, 20, 27, April 3, 10
Allbritton 311

Field trip (transportation on your own): April 6, rain date April 13
Time for field trip, TBD
Ken Elkins
KEN ELKINS first took an interest in birds when he was 10 years old, while watching the birds at his grandmother’s feeders in Vermont. He has been obsessed ever since. Elkins started his career in conservation education at Westmoor Park and quickly moved on to the Connecticut Audubon Society, leading many eco-travel trips, competing in the World Series of Birding, and directing the education programs for all five centers. In 2008, Elkins joined National Audubon, where he is the education program manager at the Audubon Center at Bent of the River in Southbury. In the past few years, he has tripled the enrollment in their summer camps and created a nationally recognized therapeutic program called “Bird Tales,” which uses birds to engage people with dementia. Elkins is a former president of the Connecticut Ornithological Association. He has served as the Christmas Bird Count compiler for the Woodbury-Roxbury CBC since 2012 and is the West-Central regional coordinator for the 2018–2020 Connecticut Bird Atlas project.