The Cornell Guide to Bird Sounds

Parker Davis | December 7, 2020

I got an exciting email from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology last week. They are using 19 of my bird recordings for an updated version of their Cornell Guide to Bird Sounds: United States and Canada as well as a future update of the Merlin app. Over the past couple years I’ve uploaded over 400 recordings to eBird so 19 may not seem like much but with over 450,000 bird recordings from the United States and Canada in the Macaulay Library, the fact that 19 of my recordings capture something unique or especially clearly is satisfying.

I know, in an abstract way, when I upload recordings to eBird I am contributing to science and bird knowledge but it can often feel like no one is actually listening to these recordings. It is a library archive after all, not a social media sharing platform, so it can take years before the value of certain recordings are realized and you can't always predict how they'll be put to use. Having the space to share recordings where they have potential to contribute to bird knowledge, appreciation, and conservation is a big motivator for me so for my recordings to be handpicked and recognized as having value in this small way is rad.

So check out the updated digital audio guide The Cornell Guide to Bird Sounds: United States and Canada and check for your pal Parker’s name in the Merlin app audio credits sometime next year. The eBird challenge of the month for December is to upload 50 audio recordings or photos so get out those microphones and contribute to SCIENCE.

In the spirit of thankfulness, here is a recording of displaying Hooded Mergansers from Thanksgiving last week. It is not featured in any digital guides but is a treat to listen to. It also happens to be the first audio recording in the Macaulay Library of Hooded Mergansers in Arizona — so that's cool too.