I remember reading a thought from @LynneKelly about associating the bird catalog she carries around in her head with the calls and songs they have wondering how to do that. I thought I’d see if anyone had any method they use and offer a system that I am starting to use for that purpose.
I see a robin outside my window often and know they have several different sounds. They have a song, a call, and a warning sound. I grew up reading piano music so seeing the music as a visual code is not difficult.
Encoding the robin song into notes, I see a short series of notes within a small tonal range that looks like the flattened shape of a box or triangle with the corners representing the notes. It could be a horizontal lightning bolt shape also because the song spans between two to four notes ending in a staccato note.
I’d use a staccato notation of a bouncing dot on that part of the image. The corners are where I embed a diacritical mark known as a tilde or hang a musical notation symbol over them for more detail for mordents, trills, and turns because of the quick variation in pitch.
I like my birds to be remembered as people if possible. The music may only suggest an object that I can use to associate it with a person. The visual association to the robin with a person turns the notation crumpled box shape into a piece of a fabric that is placed as a hood over the robin’s head making the image of the character Robin Hood out of the bird. My blue jay is more of a Jay-Z kind of musician. He blasts one note at a time.
Let me know if you start using a similar system. Having a music background helps to create the visual images so you may need to review.