Hearing Birds

To: "'Richard Jenkin'" <>, <>
Subject: Hearing Birds
From: "Bob Cook" <>
Date: Sun, 5 Dec 2010 17:53:08 +1100
Hi Dick

I am sure there are a few of us "more mature" birders out there with similar
experiences to yours.  I have exactly the same hearing deficiency at high
frequencies - I think it is the most common area of hearing loss as we get
older.  My wife has a different area of loss, mid-high.

We each have had two models of hearing aids over the past 8 years, both by
Resound.  Both have had a great effect, exactly as you describe.  Superb
Fairy-wrens inhabit our rear garden area and without the hearing aids I can
only hear them when they are virtually screaming at me from less than a
couple of metres away.  With the hearing aids I hear them clearly all over
the place, including the higher end of their call that I had never heard
before.  Another interesting experience I have had with the aids is that the
extreme high frequencies partly come through as just a high pitched
crackling sound. This was my experience of hearing Rufous-crowned Emu-wren
earlier this year. While it was not their true call, obviously, it clearly
alerted me to their presence.

A suggestion is to go hunting on the internet for a cheaper source.  We
bought our Resound Azure aids from a UK based audiologist who was selling
them for about 25% of full retail, i.e. around $1200 a pair rather than
around $5,000 a pair - about 2 years ago.  Having had hearing tests done
here we were able to send our audiograms to her and she programmed the aids
before shipping them.  You can try Precise Hearing, based in the U.S., as
the supplier we found is no longer around.  I don't know what prices you can
get from them, but I am sure you can do a lot better than $10k a pair. We
have used them to get spare tips and tubes.

Also, use the internet to find cheaper batteries, we buy from the U.S. at
about 1/4 of what you pay at the local pharmacy or hearing centre.

I very highly recommend that you get the aids as it does transform your
birding experience! I also recommend that you get the "better" quality ones
- probably like the Widex ones you have trialled or the Resound Azure. I,
like you, am pretty good at spotting the birds, but you don't see the ones
that are yelling their heads off just behind you!!  One lack I personally
have found is determining the direction of calls with the aids. Not
hopeless, but not as good as I can know the direction of lower frequency
calls without the aids.

Regards & good luck

PS: It's amazing how my wife's mumbling speech has improved since I started
wearing hearing aids!! :-) 

Bob Cook

-----Original Message-----
 On Behalf Of Richard Jenkin
Sent: Sunday, 5 December 2010 3:16 PM
Subject: Hearing Birds


Hi all


Since my teenage years I have always had problems hearing high pitched
sounds, particularly noticeable with Wrens, Finches , Thornbills etc .


It first came to light when I would be walking with my wife or others that
could hear, and I would say it is very quiet today and they would say no
there is heaps of birds around !


I have a very good eye for a bird so probably compensating for my lack of
hearing. I will often see birds that others have missed because they are not


I had a hearing test done 6 years ago which confirmed what I already knew,
but as the hearing aids that may correct this were $6000 a pair, I decided I
didn't need to hear extra birds that much.


Recently Hunter Hearing in conjunction with WIDEX Hearing Aids had a 30 day
free trial offer for their latest technology hearing aids, so I decided to
try them out.


My hearing had deteriorated even further since my last test so definitely
worth a try.


Frequencies over about 1.5 khz become harder for me to hear. My lower
frequency hearing is just under normal now also.


The hearing aids have a program to increase the clarity and decrease
background noise. I have been testing  them out for the last week or so just
with normal situations of television , music etc and whilst I can now have
the volume lower, I am still no better off than before.


However, today , Lynn and I went for an early morning bird walk to see what
we could hear and I was absolutely blown away by the difference between them
in and out.  Not only were all the birds louder , I could hear Wrens ,
Finches etc from a further distance than I could before.  Some birds had a
level to their call that I didn't even know existed !  It was almost
deafening J. Sacred Kingfishers, Pheasant Coucals, Superb Fairy-wren,
Red-browed Finches , Silvereyes, Rufous and Golden Whistlers, Black-faced
Monarchs, Fan-tailed and Brush Cuckoo, Grey Fantail, Brown Quail, Lewins ,
Scarlet and Yellow-faced Honeyeaters , plus Rosellas , Galahs , Magpies ,
Crows etc


>From our front veranda I could hear Grey Shrike-thrush, Brush Cuckoo ,
Scarlet Honeyeater and Golden Whistler calling along the river which is at
least 300 metres away, that I couldn't hear without the aids.


The model is WIDEX Passion Clear 440 and they are now $10,000 a pair !!!
Are they worth it .....  I still have one week to decide.


I would be interested to hear of anyone else's experiences with hearing






Dick Jenkin   DUNGOG NSW 






Lynn and Dick Jenkin

Tashkent Friesians

PO Box 92 Dungog NSW 2420

02 49921158

Djangos Facebook Page

 <> Tashkent Friesians




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