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While in the US, I made good use of Bill Evan's Old Bird reference guide to study and learn the nocturnal flight calls of migratory passerines. It has been very fun to review the evening recordings captured by the mic I have hooked up to my roof, uploading my results to eBird.

However, I will be moving to Europe later this year. I am keen to get started learning European flight calls. Are there any good reference materials, like Old Bird, that can get me started? Something besides just scanning xeno-canto.

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There is no high-caliber guide like Evans & O'Brien, unfortunately. However, there is a lot of ground work that's been done. There are two resources that I use to learn EU NFCs:

The Sound Approach which is an EU-based guide to understanding bird song. They have an entire section of their website dedicated to NFCs, and their approach to categorize them.

A Book, Flight Identification of European Passerines and Select Landbirds by Tomasz Cofta. Within, Cofta has beautiful drawings of the underside of birds in flight, as well as examples of flight calls associated with each species. These calls were recorded in both day and night, so they aren't strictly NFCs. However, as we know, there is overlap for some species between their diurnal and nocturnal flight calls. Importantly, all of the recordings used to make the spectrograms in the book can be listened to on SoundCloud. The link above in the book title is to a book review by www.rarebirdalert.co.uk, which has images of the book's pages.

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There is a great guide available, covering many species. It's in French - but the spectrograms are universal...

Look for: Stanislas Wroza (2020) Identifier Les Oiseaux Migrateurs Par Le Son.

Hope your move goes well..

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  • Thanks! I will add it to my references. :) Jul 6 at 6:42

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