Visualizing Western Warbler Songs 

Those of you who began birding before 1980 will probably remember that the field guide of choice was A Guide to the Field Identification of Birds of North America now usually referred to as "the Golden Guide." Produced by Golden Press, it was the best comprehensive guide to North American Birds at the time. It was among the first field guides to place illustrations next to text and include range maps in the margins. It was one of the first pocket sized field guides to illustrate birds in natural and varied settings. And then there were those wonderful sonograms....

The sonograms were pictures of the bird songs for selected species and, if you knew how to read them, they could be an effective aid to identifying birds by song. I identified my first Prairie Warbler from the sonogram in the Golden Guide.

This page is an attempt to use sonograms to help sort out the common warblers of the Pacific Northwest region. The sonograms were produced using Cornell Laboratories Canary 1.2.1 processing software and songs were sampled from Peterson's Western Bird Songs.



Epstein, Lewis Carroll. 1989. Thinking Physics. Insight Press. San Francisco.

Gill, Frank B. 1990. Ornithology. W.H. Freeman and Co. New York.

Peterson, Roger Tory (ed.). 1992. A Field Guide to Western Bird Songs. Houghton
    Mifflin Co. Boston.

Robbins, Chandler S., Bertel Bruun & Herbert S Zim. 1983. A Guide to the Field
    Identification of Birds of North America. Golden Press. Racine, Wis consin.