The Listening Component

If Yogi Berra had been a birder instead of a Major League Baseball player, he might have said “Birding is ninety percent listening and the other half is watching.” Even though the percentages are questionable, the idea is spot on – experienced birders typically use hearing to locate and identify birds. This winter, Bob and I took a walk along the Boise River at Eagle Island State Park. It hadn’t been particularly birdy, and we were just about to head back when I heard a clear, whistled call. It didn’t immediately register with me, so I knew it was an unusual bird. After a couple minutes of searching the tree tops, we found a small flock of Evening Grosbeaks. While the Evening Grosbeak is by no means a rare winter bird in southwest Idaho, they are always nice to see, especially when they are willing to pose for a photo.

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Focus on Birds is a contribution from Leanne Lloyd-Fairey and Bob Fairey. Leanne is a former Beginning Birding instructor for GEAS, and Bob is an accomplished amateur photographer. Bob and Leanne live in Emmett, Idaho.

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