“Waterbirds of the SF Bay Area”: Upcoming Merritt College Class…..& Recent Class: “Bird Songing — The Ecology of Birds’ Songs and Identifying Them by Ear

Presented by:
Daniel Edelstein, M.S.
12 Kingfisher Court, Novato, CA 94949 USA
415-382-1827 (voice and fax)


  • Please Note: This theme was the title of a 2017 Merritt College class….”Waterbirds of the SF Bay Area” will be my next class theme at Merritt College from 3/21 – 4/28/18, via information and/or registration at peralta.edu ….Please see: http://danielsmerrittclasses.blogspot.com/

Beyond the above link and beyond the peralta.edu site where you can register, I have             a color publicity flyer that contains information to HELP you learn information                       and/or register, if you email me your wish to receive at: danieledelstein@att.net

My aforementioned “Waterbirds” college class will highlight the ecology, life cycle, migration, and nesting habits of heron, duck, shorebird, and gull/tern families…..while the recent bird song ecology/birding by ear class addressed:

  • Why do birds sing and how and when do they learn their repertoires?
  • Do you wish to improve your birding by ear skills by knowing more about the ecology of singing birds?
  • What are the social and survival value reasons why birds have both songs and calls? – and which birds possess both? Songs only? Calls only?
  • What about the different non-vocal sounds birds create that immediately reveal their identity?
  • Do “song memory phrases” and “mnemonic” phrases help you remember the identity of the singers you hear? (You can see a list of 200+ “song memory phrases” at Daniel’s Web site: http://www.warblerwatch.com)
  • And, for that matter, will you finally and absolutely PLEASE tell me why “pishing” works like a magnet to coax birds closer into view?

The answers to these questions and many others are highlighted in this program, which can range in length from a one-hour slide show* to a one- to four-day class featuring indoor activities and field trip experiences.

(* = As an add-on feature to a slide show, Daniel often leads a birding outing on the ensuing morning after an evening slide show and/or remains for the weekend to present an extended class/workshop.)

As a dynamic and colorful slide show, “Bird Songing” features images of birds and recordings of their vocalizations to illustrate the “what, why and how” of both songs and calls by:

  • highlighting different kinds and patterns of bird vocalizations—songs, calls, sub-song, whisper song, repertoires, mimicry, dialects, and duets;
  • explaining reasons why researchers believe songs are used versus calls;
  • featuring various non-vocal, structural sounds made by birds during courtship;
  • interpreting the meaning of bird song in relation to pitch and frequency, in addition to playing bird sounds next to easy-to-understand “sonograms”

Informational handouts are available, if you wish.

Contact Daniel to plan the style and format of the wood-warbler slide show and/or class you desire.

Biography of Daniel Edelstein:
Birder, Naturalist, Biologist, and published Science Writer for the last 30 years, Daniel works as a Contract Biologist for environmental consulting firms.  He also teaches in the Oakland, CA-based Merritt College’s Biology Department (www.merritt.edu) as an Adjunct Faculty member. First published in 1981 and the author of two books, his articles have appeared in science books, magazines, newspapers, science Web sites – and, in addition, Daniel maintains a popular Web site (http://www.warblerwatch.com) and Blog site titled “Warbler Watch” (http://warblerwatch.blogspot.com).

To read Daniel’s resume, click here.

For more information and/or to obtain references, please contact Daniel at 415-382-1827 or write him at danieledelstein@att.net.

What are people saying
about Daniel & his programs?
(that he has presented in more than 20 USA states)

“Daniel hears (and identifies) birds that I can’t even see!”
Ron Felzer, Emeritus Instructor in Biology, Forestry and Environmental Studies, Merritt College, Oakland, California

“Daniel’s enthusiasm for warblers is truly infectious.  His Web site and blog are valuable resources for warbler-watchers everywhere.”
Ken Burton, Birding Guide and North American Banding Council Education Chairman

 “I thoroughly enjoyed Daniel Edelstein’s birding class and greatly improved my ability to bird by ear!  We definitely plan to have him back to teach again.”
Gary Knoblock, former Executive Director of the Point Reyes Field Seminars adult school, Point Reyes Station, CA

“Daniel has excellent ears and he expertly knows his birds’ songs and calls — and his teaching experience helps others learn the birds that they hear.”
– The venerable and late Paul G. DuMont, bird tour leader for more than 30 years

“Thank you for sharing your knowledge with the State Parks interpretive naturalists.  Your expertise was impressive and your presentation was enjoyable and filled with information.  I am sure the State Park staff will share this knowledge in public programs.”
Estelle Ruppert, Program Specialist, Bureau of State Parks, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources