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With the birth of listening devices able to amplify sounds from a distance, listening to birds has been an integral part of bird watching or birding. The advancement in this technology has also encouraged many people to try birding as a hobby. Many birders enjoy bird listening rather than bird watching to the point where they can identify a particular bird just by hearing the bird sound. However, one can only acquire this skill through many months and years of practice and with the help of bird listening devices.
Sonic SuperEar Sound Amplifiers
Sonic SuperEar Sound Amplifiers are to the ears as binoculars are to the eyes. It comes in two different models--the original and the deluxe models, where the deluxe model only has a few improvements of the original one. It amplifies sounds up to 50 decibels with up to 107 decibels of maximum output. It picks up sounds from more than 100 yards away. It uses a highly sensitive microphone with a foam windscreen to cancel the effect of the wind on the microphone. The user can easily mount the device on a binocular while bird watching and easily attach a headphone into it for closer listening. The deluxe model uses 2 AAA batteries that can last up to 80 hours. As of October 2010, the prices for both models retail for $39.95 and $79.95 and can be found on Sonic Technology website.
The Orbitor electronic listening device uses parabolic sound technology to capture and amplify sound. It can pick up sound from more than 300 feet away. The device is slightly larger including the booster dish and the Viewfinder optical monocular can zoom in on objects up to 10 times for simultaneous bird watching, which is handy if the user does not have binoculars. It also has a record feature that can save up to two minutes of audio clip at a time on a digital chip. The device includes a full-size headphone with noise-cancellation capability. It runs on a 9V battery. As of 2010, the Wolfcom Orbitor electronic listening device retails for $44.99 and can be found on Asianwolf's website.
The Bionic Ear is a listening device that can pick up sounds from 30 meters away. It has a bird watching meter gun that can help detect bird songs. It is also slightly bigger and uses parabolic sound technology for capturing and amplifying sounds from a distance. It also has a booster dish and a built-in monocular device that can zoom up to eight times for watching wildlife without alerting them. The device includes a full-size headphone for better listening. As of 2010, the Bionic Ear Spy listening device can be found on Gadgetown.com, and retails for $45.99.
Nature’s Window outdoor sound monitor is a device that can amplify sounds from a distance while the user is inside the house. The device uses a 6-foot probe wire that is placed outside the house. It picks up the birds’ sounds from outside and brings the output sound to a speaker. For longer distances, the user can use a longer probe wire. The device is useful during bad weather conditions where some birds can still be seen and heard outside. It is also recommended for birders who have allergies from pollen and other allergens. It runs on electrical power. As of 2010, Nature’s Window outdoor sound monitor retails for $114.99 and can be found on the TMB Studios website.
Based in Michigan, Jane Gateway has been writing about gender, poverty and politics since 1977. She served as a communications director and writer for the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Information and Culture. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications sciences and a Master of Arts in educational administration from Michigan State University, where she is pursuing a Ph.D. in media and information studies.