We’ve all been thrilled by the advent of the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology’s Merlin Sound ID – helping birders sort out the sound they hear around them, and suggesting identifications. All from that powerful computer in your hand that you call a phone! Cornell depends upon quality recordings submitted to the Macaulay Library, via eBird, in order to continually upgrade their machine learning of bird vocalizations. By submitting better quality recordings, we get a more accurate Sound ID product! Want to help? Let’s learn to edit our bird sound recordings. eBird / Cornell Lab of O / Macaulay Library has excellent guidance and tutorials for preparing recordings for upload, yet they involve using unfamiliar software (Audacity, OcenAudio) and unfamiliar processes (normalization, high-pass filtering, audio file formats.) Scott Crabtree will unpack all of that, demonstrate the workflow Macaulay recommends, and boil down the software to something more user-friendly. Topics may include:

  • Data flow from your recording device to the editing software
  • The basic processes for preparing your recording for upload
  • How to upload via eBird, and if there’s interest, to xeno-canto

If the birds are cooperative, a recording will be obtained that afternoon at the Doubletree, and we’ll follow that recording through to a final, upload-able product.

Image by Matthew Studebaker