Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Learn to bird by ear...by playing a game!

Back in October, I started playing around with Larkwire, an online birdsong app that makes learning bird songs and bird calls almost easy...

The Larkwire app homepage...
You can learn to bird by ear playing this game!

Larkwire is an interactive Web game. Since October, I've played it on my computer, my iPhone, and my iPad (I love it on my iPad). As long as you have an Internet connection you can play...and when you play, you really will learn bird songs and calls!

I don't learn as quickly as I used to (boo!), but Larkwire seems to have overriden that tendency (yeah!) because I am learning songs I used to have trouble remembering. Maybe it's because Larkwire's founder, Phil Mitchell, has a Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology and has developed a learning engine that uses "spaced repetition" to help us learn faster and retain more. I don't know how many times I've driven around with a bird song CD playing in the car (Matty and Rick just love that...) trying to learn bird songs (but not having much luck), but with Larkwire, I seem to learn the songs in a different way. It's more like being out in the field...

Click here to try it for free. No signup is required, so try it out!

Larkwire is affordable, and at least 10% of every purchase is donated to a conservation organization. There are several levels of songpacks you can buy. The "Birder Core" songpack includes the essential land birds and is only $8.95. I bought the the next level up, the "Birder Pro" song pack for the Eastern/Central region, and it was only $16.95 (it covers 233 species; the Western region covers 299 species). Click here for complete pricing and all the available songpacks.

...so get ready for spring migration by learning those warbler songs now...in the dead of winter...by playing a game!

16 comments:

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Wow---I may just need that one, Kelly... I have such a hard time remembering bird sounds... Thanks for sharing!!
Hugs,
Betsy

eileeninmd said...

Now, I wish I had an iphone. But I do have an ipod with the bird sounds and photos.

Dan Huber said...

very neat , gonna try it as I find I don't seem to learn as well either :)

dan

Laure Ferlita said...

Now that's pretty cool—learning and fun all in one game! Who would of thought it possible!?!

Kathy A. Johnson said...

What a cool--and fun--idea! Have fun playing and learning.

Janice K said...

Thanks for sharing that information, Kelly. I want to try that.

Montanagirl said...

Thank you for sharing this! Bird songs and calls are not always so easy to identify.

Larry said...

Wow Kelly, this is soooo cool! I have the hardest time trying to remember bird songs. Of course I know a few but not enough to bird by ear, which is, by the way, the best way to bird. If you can ID the song, you know where to look for that species.

Gillian Olson said...

Very interesting, thanks Kelly.

Mary Ann Gieszelmann said...

I bought and downloaded the birds for my Western region. It brought the cats around to my computer! The older one got out of his bed and walked around, looking at me. The younger one came running, jumped up on my desk and looked out the window. Finally she located the sound coming from a speaker on the desk and tried to reach underneath it to get to the bird!

Heather said...

Kelly, I've never heard of this, but I'm so glad you shared it. I'm going to check it out right now!

forgetmenot said...

What a fun thing to do. I'm always so impressed by those that can imitate bird calls. Hope your New Year is off to a great start. Mickie :)

Elaine said...

I like it! I got the land birds for Alaska to work on. I have a CD that has all the Alaska bird songs, but I think this will help me more.

Chris said...

Excellent and very useful probably. I've several CD of songs for the European bird and often listen to them at work ;-)

Kelly said...

...thanks, everyone! Good luck learning the bird songs! I'm going to keep at it. Hopefully this spring I'll be able to bird a little more by ear...

Patricia K. Lichen said...

Great! I'm off to check this out! I had an idea for an online birding game that I'd never in a million years be able to actually create--so glad someone else made one! Ideas are a dime a dozen... follow-through is priceless!