Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Bird call database nests online

Date:
December 7, 2010
Source:
Michigan State University
Summary:
A growing online library of bird sounds, photos and information offers a new resource for backyard birders and seasoned ornithologists alike. More than 10,200 recordings from over 3,190 species in 45 countries are now available.

A red-tailed hawk prepares to dine.
Credit: Kurt Stepnitz

A growing online library of bird sounds, photos and information offers a new resource for backyard birders and seasoned ornithologists alike.

The Avian Vocalizations Center at Michigan State University, or AVoCet,offers free downloads of bird sounds from around the world. It also features sonograms that visually chart the sounds, photos of birds recorded, Google Earth maps of recording locations and links to other online sound collections.

More than 10,200 recordings from over 3,190 species in 45 countries are now available on AVoCet, "and that's growing quickly," said Pamela Rasmussen, an assistant professor of zoology and assistant curator at the MSU Museum. "Soon recordings and their data from many more species and areas will be available for download from AVoCet."

There are, after all, 10,000 bird species, all of which make sounds of some type. Many birds, such as cardinals, even sing in regional dialects. Some birds have huge vocabularies -- a single male Brown Thrasher is known to give 2,000 different notes.

Author of an exhaustive reference work on the birds of South Asia, Rasmussen has personally recorded on all the continents for this project. Her work in the Philippines alone netted 597 recordings of 120 species, many of which are threatened. Some of those sound types are not publicly available anywhere other than AVoCet.

AVoCet also contains recordings made around the world so far by 65 others, including local ornithologists, professional guides and MSU students from Rasmussen's study abroad and ornithology courses. Zoology department programmer/analyst Patrick Bills built the database and Web site and undergraduate students also contributed.

Digital technology has revolutionized birding, Rasmussen explains, allowing enthusiasts and professionals to more easily record, share and play bird calls. Online access to the AVoCet library allows easy access to sounds, photos and other supporting information via computer and Internet-connected mobile devices.

The ability to identify birds vocally is crucial for monitoring bird movements and populations, including such popular events as the annual Christmas bird counts organized across the country. A comprehensive collection of bird sounds can yield better understanding of habitats, ranges and habits, while allowing more efficient and thorough biodiversity studies, Rasmussen said. "It's very difficult to see birds in a tropical rainforest, but not difficult to hear and recognize them."

Oriented to the scientific community, AVoCet maintains rigorous scholarly standards. Whenever possible, recordings are accompanied by photos and sighting observations that enable independent evaluation, Rasmussen said. Scientists can then accurately map avian biodiversity and perhaps identify new species.

"We know that certain species will go extinct in the near future and, sadly, there's not a lot that can realistically be done about it," Rasmussen said. "However, ornithologists and birders do now have the opportunity to document virtually all the species of birds out there in one way or another, and one major goal of AVoCet is to contribute to this effort."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Michigan State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Michigan State University. "Bird call database nests online." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 December 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101207152510.htm>.
Michigan State University. (2010, December 7). Bird call database nests online. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101207152510.htm
Michigan State University. "Bird call database nests online." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101207152510.htm (accessed April 23, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India

Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India

AP (Apr. 22, 2014) A leopard caused panic in the city of Chandrapur on Monday when it sprung from the roof of a house and charged at rescue workers. (April 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs

Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs

AP (Apr. 22, 2014) Drake University hosts 35th annual Beautiful Bulldog Contest. (April 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
805-Pound Shark Caught Off The Coast Of Florida

805-Pound Shark Caught Off The Coast Of Florida

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) One Florida fisherman caught a 805-pound shark off the coast of Florida earlier this month. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Breakfast Foods Are Getting Pricier

Breakfast Foods Are Getting Pricier

AP (Apr. 21, 2014) Breakfast is now being served with a side of sticker shock. The cost of morning staples like bacon, coffee and orange juice is on the rise because of global supply problems. (April 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins