Library of Bird and Animal Sounds Available

CHIRP! The Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Macaulay Library’s Web site is now making available over 65,000 sound clips and about 18,000 video clips of birds and animals. You can get your squawk on at .

You can do a simple search by keyword, or you can do an advanced search for marine vs terrestrial beings as well as searching by location and recording information (at the moment the catalog has a North American emphasis but the site promises to continue to put more clips online.)

I did a simple keyword search for hawk. I got OVER 1300 RESULTS. Results include both audio and video clips. Note that not everything you get in your search results has been digitized yet (the advanced search includes a switch that allows you to include only results with available video or audio clips.) Search results include animal name (common and scientific), date of clip (I saw clips that go back as far as 1951) and contributor, and quality of the clip (rated on a scale from one to five.) A detail page includes the location and duration of the clip.

Clicking on the “play” button (if the play button is gray, the clip is not available; look for blue play buttons) pops up a window that plays the clip with RealPlayer. There’s also a neat feature called RavenViewer that requires a download; RavenViewer allows you to get a visualization of bird calls; play the call and watch a waveform and spectrogram at the same time. (RavenViewer is not available for all the clips that I saw.)

Don’t feel like searching the clips? There’s also a browsing feature that allows you to look at several sets of “best of” — best of long-distance communications, best of territory defense, etc. Lots to browse through here!

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