Identifying birds is really about understanding birds. Being attuned to the basics of bird behavior can help us put a name on species. Spring is the time of courtship behavior. Singing birds surround us, and their songs offer multiple clues to their identity.
We humans interpret birdsong as a joyous outpouring — a celebration of the end of winter, the reawakening of spring, the return of warmth and light. To birds, it is mostly a form of advertising, a macho display for potential mates and rivals. Each singer wants to be noticed, and most species try to be conspicuous using both sight and sound.