ACES Birding Field Class, How to Know the Birds with Ted Floyd | July 25-26, 2019
July 25, 2019
Thursday, July 25 – Friday, July 26, 2019
Weather: Mostly sunny
Ted Floyd, Editor of Birding Magazine, author, and renowned birding expert, taught a comprehensive two-day birding field course for ACES Naturalist Field School. Ted’s classroom content included an overview of digital resources many birders use, including Song Sleuth, Xenocanto, iNaturalist, eBird, and Merlin. Ted taught participants how to use spectrograms (graphs providing visual representations of bird vocalizations) to learn about bird sounds and how scientists are using them to dive more deeply into understanding bird communication. He also gave a brief talk about evolutionary relationships among birds and our growing understanding of the avian family tree, as well as new research and findings behind the connection between birds and dinosaurs. In the field, we visited a variety of sites including Hallam Lake, Sunnyside Trail, Difficult Trail, a private property in Snowmass Village off Divide Road, and the Aspen Community Garden. In the field, Ted covered identification tips, field craft tips, and natural history information, with birding highlights being a pair of newly fledged blue-gray gnatcatchers being fed by parents and western tanagers in excellent light. We spent time practicing birding without binoculars or other gear, as well as birding with all of our gear including phones and cameras. Participants practiced making photographs and recordings of bird vocalizations and learned how to edit and upload them to ebird and other online sites. Ted followed up with slideshows of photos taken during the class experience (birds and much more!) as well as resources and tutorials to help participants continue to learn and practice new skills. Thank you, Ted, for a rich class experience!
~ Rebecca Weiss, ACES Bird Guide
Photo by Mark Fuller