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  1. Hi all, As I'm sure you all know, one of the most important indicators of a well-rounded birder is their ability to bird by ear. In an effort to increase my knowledge, I wanted to master my eastern warbler songs this year. However, I was unable to find a free training course which matched my needs. So.... I built one! Basically, this game pulls several thousand audio clips from the Macaulay library and quizzes you on them, meaning that no two clips will ever be the same. Here's how to play: Go to http://benguofilms.com/quiz.php, and enter a nickname. No other info is required to sign up and start! Then, just type in what you hear- don't worry about capitalization, hyphens, or spaces. Spelling is important though! (So for example bluewingedwarbler is valid, and so is Blue-winged Warbler). There's a skip button that you can use, though how I like to play I only skip if it's a 'chip' note (almost impossible to identify), if the bird is named in the audio (sometimes people say what the birds are) or if there are two obviously identifiable species and it's not clear which one the observer might be trying to record. Do a few practice runs and you can click 'reset progress' to reset your stats. I'll warn you that this is an incredibly difficult quiz- because the samples are sourced directly from ebird, there is a huge variety in songs which birds often sing. Some of the most variable include Northern Parula, Hooded Warbler, Yellow Warbler, and Blackburnian Warbler. Also, the quality isn't always the best, but I think this makes the experience much more realistic. Some of the birds I really struggle to differentiate and could use help figuring out are Bay-breasted vs Cape May, Yellow vs Chestnut-sided, and Palm vs pretty much everything. My current score which is viewable on the leaderboard (though this will likely change) is 86%, though I think my true rating is probably somewhere from the high 70s to the low 80s. I'd love to see someone on here beat it- I'm sure it can be done. For those who are more beginners in the birding by ear space, I'm already working on building out a full-fledged training course. I also have plans to expand this game to have empid quizzes, vireos, thrushes, etc., as well as several devoted to more west-coast species. However, I'm the only one developing this and I have limited time so it may take a little while.
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