Learn to ‘Speak Bird’ at Springbrook Nature Center

Identifying birds by sound is a crucial skill that can be difficult to learn. Author Nathan Pieplow has devised a system that lets you identify bird sounds without having to memorize them. Thursday, May 11, at 7 p.m., Springbrook Nature Center will be presenting “Bird Sounds Decoded,” by author Nathan Pieplow.

The Peterson Field Guide to Bird Sounds lets you look up sounds, the way you look up words in the dictionary. The key is learning to visualize sounds. Nathan’s clear, practical instructions for visualizing sounds will make you a better listener. You will hear details in sound that you hadn’t noticed before, and you will have the vocabulary to describe those details. Nathan will help you identify birds by their sounds, but he will also help you understand birds by their sounds. For the sounds of birds are a language, carrying messages from one bird to another. To understand the language, and decode the messages, all you need is the right dictionary.

The presentation kicks off the Urban Birding Festival, May 12 through May 21 with events throughout the Twin Cities. This annual festival brings birds and people together and provides opportunities for all ages and abilities to experience birds and birding in bird-friendly communities.

Springbrook Nature Center estimates 200 bird species live in or pass through the nature center each year and is popular for bird watching and research. Springbrook’s bird banding project is one of the longest and continual bird banding projects in Minnesota, and you can be a part of it.


Join Springbrook on May 7 and/or May 21 at 6:30 a.m. and you can help capture and release wild birds for this banding research program. Hold in your hand cardinals, chickadees, robins and more as they are released. The birds are measured, weighed, examined for fat and other health indicators, aged and sexed, fitted with a lightweight numbered band and then released.