We present a method based on passive spectroscopy with aim to remotely study flying birds. A compact spectrometer is continuously recording spectra of a small section of the sky, waiting for birds to obscure part of the field-of-view when they pass the field in flight. In such situations the total light intensity received through the telescope, looking straight up, will change very rapidly as compared to the otherwise slowly varying sky light. On passage of a bird, both the total intensity and the spectral shape of the captured light changes notably. A camera aimed in the same direction as the telescope, although with a wider field-of-view, is triggered by the sudden intensity changes in the spectrometer to record additional information, which may be used for studies of migration and orientation. Example results from a trial are presented and discussed. The study is meant to explore the information that could be gathered and extracted with the help of a spectrometer connected to a telescope. Information regarding the color, size and height of flying birds is discussed. Specifically, an application for passive distance determination utilizing the atmospheric oxygen A-band absorption at around 760 nm is discussed.