Welcome to I Heard a Bird

If you have ever wondered about the identity of a bird that was singing, this website has tools and techniques designed to help you. From simple adjustments in your position while listening, to techniques for remembering calls right after hearing them, to classes in the field, there are many things you can do to improve your recognition of the sounds birds make.


Recordings of bird songs and calls can be useful tools in learning, but the best way to learn is to see the bird while it is singing, and the best way to do this is in the field. I lead birdsong classes outdoors, from late winter through spring, to hear and see the wintering and resident birds, early spring migrants, and late spring/summer resident species in Sonoma County, CA.


There are no classes scheduled at this time. For private or small group classes, please contact me at the email below

Some favorite locations for listening to local birds:

Day 1: Resident species, Riverfront Regional Park

Day 2: Owling, Salmon Creek Rd.

Day 3: Early migrants, Annadel State Park

Day 4: Dawn chorus, Willow Creek Rd

Day 5: Late migrants, Armstrong Woods State Reserve


"Both new and experienced birders will learn much in Gordon Beebe's Birdsong class. During his many years of field observation, Gordon has collected an astounding body of knowledge of birdsong, from what we call typical songs to the many subtleties of calls and songs, such as parent birds by the nest, juvenile begging calls, differences in male and female calls and songs, and more.

To spend a morning in the field with Gordon is to be amazed not only by his vast knowledge and keen ear but by his respect and consideration for all birds. It is an experience you will refer to again and again, and Gordon will give you references to continue to build your own store of knowledge."

–Monica, Santa Rosa



Lazuli Bunting

Lazuli Bunting

For, what are the voices of birds… but words, our words, only so much more sweet?

–Robert Browning


Imitative sounds, or onomatopoeia, are simply imitations of sounds. They are a handy way to re- member certain bird calls. For instance, "Co-TA-ti" can be used to describe the call of the California Quail (sorry about that, Chicago).

more imitatives


Wrentit song [61 KB]



sonogram of male Wrentit

more sonograms


"its song sounds like a bouncing ball"

more descriptives

Website and photographs 2016 by Gordon Beebe