Which birds can you identify by their call/song? What in your life experiences has contributed to how many or few you know?
I don’t know – about a hundred or so. I grew up on farms, my dad’s youngest brother headed NZs largest wildlife association for 25 years, I spent 17 years at sea, listening to and identifying seabirds, I have travelled to Australia and the USA and learned many birds there, as well as most of those in NZ. Spent 4 years at university, taking ecology courses (terrestrial and marine during 3 of them).
I have travelled all of NZ, and walked in all our major forests, many of our offshore islands. I’ve heard kakapo booming, bittern’s unearthly howl, banded rail, kaka, kea, kakariki, ruru, little owl, kiwi, …………..
Spent most of my life belonging to ecology groups like forest and bird, going places with people who know more than I do, and learning.
Every morning we wake to loud birdsong – bellbirds, blackbirds, thrush, gold and green finches, chaffinch, sparrows, grey warbler, waxeyes, starling most days, sometimes magpies, whiteface heron, blackback gull, redbilled gull, harrier hawk, yellow hammer, paradise shell duck, little owl. Rarely we have tui, pidgeon, doves, NZ falcon, kakariki, brown creeper, cirl bunting, skylark, pipit, californian quail, masked lapwing, pied oyster catcher, pied stilt, kea, mallard duck, grey, white, and canadian geese. And that’s just from here in the house.
Go out in a boat here in Kaikoura and it is easy to identify another 20-30 species of sea bird (all have unique calls, as well as unique flight patterns, colours etc).