1. Choose a small or manageable group of birds to start with.
2. Take notes which explain what you hear. Try and summarize the following:
Quality - burry, rich, thin, whistled, screeching, sweet, harsh, croaking, slurred
Speed of Song - rapid, slow, halting
Repetition - slowly repeated, quickly repeated, very generous pauses
Pattern - repeated notes or phrases, higher or lower ending, low to high
Pitch - higher or lower
Volume - loud, soft
3. Draw a visual representation with dots and lines that sums up the general progression of the song (each note, trill or slur).
4. *Try and create a a phonetic or mnemonic that helps you to remember what you are hearing (See below).
5. As a further aid, you might note the location or habitat, and any other distinctive features you come across that might be helpful in keying in on a particular bird song.
* Phonetics are nonsense syllables , trying to represent the sound ("DEE-DEE-DEE..." for the Chickadee)
Mnemonics are memorable phrases or analogies (the Towhee's "DRINK-YOUR-TEA", or the Blue Jay call that "sounds like a squeaky clothesline")