About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Free Downloads of Bird Sounds from Around the World

New Database from Michigan State University

News Release EAST LANSING, Mich. — A growing online library of bird sounds, photos and information offers a new resource for backyard birders and seasoned ornithologists alike.
European Robin Erithacus rubecula


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.

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.”

Project AVoCet aims to provide a global database of well-documented, downloadable bird sounds in aid of environmental and ornithological research, conservation, education, and the identification and appreciation of birds and their habitats. They’ll be adding much more over the next few months and beyond (see “What’s here now? and “Coming soon!”). And, you can even let them know if you’d like to get involved!

More information:
The Avian Vocalizations Center at Michigan State University, or AVoCet: http://avocet.zoology.msu.edu/

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