Wild birds have clearly stolen our hearts. Today, approximately 85 million Americans enjoy observing, photographing or feeding wild birds, according to USA Today. A growing number of these individuals identify their passion as “birding,” which is different from bird watching, in part because it involves more than just the sense of sight.
For the serious birder, bird songs and calls are just as important as visual identification, especially when the bird is obscured by heavy foliage, darkness, distance or other factors. However, “birding by ear” does require a good sense of hearing.
Gael Hannan, a blogger at www.hearinghealthmatters.org, has a passion for birds, but her hearing loss used to prevent her from enjoying avian music. “The high-frequency cochlear hair cells of people with sensory hearing loss are usually toast,” she writes. “And that’s unfortunate, because this is the range in which birdies make their music; the average frequency of songbirds is about 4,000 Hz (Hertz). Many are even higher.”
For example, the beautiful tinkling song of the winter wren (observed throughout most of the eastern U.S.) typically occurs between 4,000 and 8,000 Hz. Many hearing-impaired people have trouble hearing in these sound frequencies without amplification.
With hearing aids, Ms. Hannan was able to rekindle her enjoyment of birdsong. If a hearing loss makes it difficult or impossible to participate in birding by ear, call Amplifon Hearing Health Care today to schedule an appointment with a provider near you.