Monday, March 28, 2005

A Library Of Song

Source: Audubon Magazine

Cornell’s Lab of Ornithology, and the Macaulay Library, boast the recordings of more than 6,000 bird songs of the world's 9,000 or so bird species arranged taxonomically from ostrich to raven.

Don Stap writes in Audubon Magazine “on one shelf were the babbling-brook arias of mockingbirds; on another, the flutelike ee-oo-lays of wood thrushes; and on others, the wistful melodies of white-throated sparrows, the caroling of robins, and the songs of birds I had never seen nor heard: the superb lyrebird, the laughing kookaburra, the black-and-gold cotinga, the snowy-headed robin chat, and more. The room was brimming with sound. But of course I heard nothing. The silence was profound.

“Several recordings hold the voices of birds now extinct (the Guam flycatcher and Bachman's warbler) or most likely extinct (the ivory-billed woodpecker). Many are the only known aural records of rare and elusive species.”

*Bird sounds to download from the Library.

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