A Guide to Wildlife Sounds by Lang Elliott  » Books  »
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  • I like nature and animals, so it would be nice to be able to actually know which bird makes which sound
  • For example, I know a yellow bird visits my yard each fall but I have no idea what its name is
  • I really enjoyed how clearly the author spoke on the CD
  • The 'birdie-birdie' I've been hearing is the Northern Cardinal (the book says it's actually saying 'purdy' not 'birdie' like I thought it was)
  • Besides birdcalls, I found it neat to listen to the sounds that various mammals make

    • by Bookwyrm
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      Every spring I hear birds singing, hearing birdcalls I didn’t hear for months through the long freezing winter. This March we had a few especially warm days and the familiar birdcalls started up again. I live near a park so I hear a lot of birds singing. One day last week I went out to the garbage can and I heard a bird singing, the sound coming from very close by. I walked past my neighbor’s garage to stare up at the still bare trees in the park, but look as I did, I couldn’t actually see the bird that was singing. I had heard the call before, but I still didn’t know which bird it belonged to. I like nature and animals, so it would be nice to be able to actually know which bird makes which sound. This book allows you to do that.

      The book is a soft cover and has 106 glossy pages. Each page has one bird or animal on it. The book covers common USA mammals, birds, reptiles (mainly the alligator and rattlesnake), frogs and toads, crickets, katydids and cicadas. The book comes with an audio CD so you can hear the common sounds each creature makes. All together, 100 different creatures are covered. The critters are arranged by group; the rodents together, then carnivores, then hoofed mammals, etc. Types of birds include night birds, doves, hawks, woodpeckers and common songbirds.

      The book is well designed and the layout clean


      but simple. I like the bright bar of color at the top of each page, the creature’s name clearly spelled out within this bar of color. This includes its common name and its scientific name. Directly below the bar of color is a large photograph of the creature. These photographs are crystal clear and show each wild critter it its natural habitat. This would be especially helpful if a person knows what a bird looks like but doesn’t know its name. For example, I know a yellow bird visits my yard each fall but I have no idea what its name is. I also like how the photographs take up almost half the page, as nothing would be worst than trying to stare at a picture that is too small. The photographs show a lot of detail, too, so that is good. With birds, you can easily see their beaks, heads, feathers, feet and so forth. The colors are bright and each creature is well centered in the photograph.

      Next comes some informational text on the critter. This includes what part of the country it lives in. I find this helpful as it helps me screen out birds that don’t live in my area. The second blurb of text tries to describe the various sounds each critter or bird makes. This takes some real creativity! Truthfully, I would have no idea what to call some of those sounds animals make yet the author managed ...


      • to come up with terms to describe them. This includes clicks, lispy notes, crackling, buzzing, rattles, squeaks, peeps, chuckles, thrills, snore, hiss, whistle, chatter, snarling, growls, snort, peep, chirp, squeals, snorts, moans, screams and a lot more descriptive words. Common calls of many birds are also spelled out how they sound. For example, it says the Baltimore oriole makes a jeet-jeet sound.

        I really enjoyed how clearly the author spoke on the CD. He says the common name of each animal and then after a short pause I heard the animal making sounds. These sounds were wonderfully clear, although there were on occasion a few faint background sounds.

        I was able to identify several of the sounds I have been hearing thanks to this CD. The ‘birdie-birdie’ I’ve been hearing is the Northern Cardinal (the book says it’s actually saying ‘purdy’ not ‘birdie’ like I thought it was). I also learned the robin’s call, which I never really knew before. And that other sound I hear a lot turned out to be the morning dove. I knew it wasn’t an owl as I hear it during the day, but I had no idea what bird it could be.

        This book also solved another big mystery, which I didn’t expect at all. Each August when the weather gets very hot I always hear this loud buzzing sound. I hear it by the park and by the highway. I had always thought it was the electrical

        wires buzzing overhead for unknown reasons. Turns out its some type of big bug called Linne’s cicada! I never saw one of these, either. This summer I’ll try to see one of them.

        I also liked how each sound has a number, the number clearly marked in the colored bar right before the animal’s name. This number corresponds to the track on the audio CD. If you want to listen to the American Alligator, it’s track 57.

        There is also a clear text of all of the tracks at the back of the book for quick reference to the CD. The front of the book has a Table of Contents, with both page number and track number. The CD is attached in the rear of the book, in a plastic sleeve.

        Besides birdcalls, I found it neat to listen to the sounds that various mammals make. On several occasions I heard squirrels making noises up in a tree, but other animals like raccoons, porcupines, skunks, deer, woodchucks, voles and muskrats? I never heard them before. The CD also includes the fox, coyote, wolves, bears, bobcats, moose, chipmunks, squirrels and something called the nutria. The nutria moos just like a cow! I kid you not, it really sounds just like a cow even though it’s a rodent. That’s really weird, don’t you think?

        The book was published in 2005. The book is small in size, six by eight inches, so you could take it with you to a park easily.




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    The review was published as it's written by reviewer in April, 2009. The reviewer certified that no compensation was received from the reviewed item producer, trademark owner or any other institution, related with the item reviewed. The site is not responsible for the mistakes made. 17304658001130/k2311a043/4.3.09
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