Feeds

Massive online database of bird calls unveiled

Extensive contributions from the 'Brown Thrasher'

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Twitchers among the Reg readership – and there must be a few of you, it's a hobby based on obsessive knowledge of minutiae and enhanced by gadgets – take heed. A massive online database of bird calls has been made available free online for your listening enjoyment.

Professor Pamela Rasmussen. Credit: MSU

Are you looking at my bird?

We speak here of the Avian Vocalizations Center at Michigan State uni, or AVoCet, which boasts no less than 10,200 recordings from over 3,190 species in 45 countries at the last report – "and that's growing quickly," according to Pamela Rasmussen, Michigan State zoology prof.

"Soon recordings and their data from many more species and areas will be available for download," she adds.

Rasmussen is personally responsible for many of the present recordings, having collected bird calls on every continent in her travels. Others have been provided by students and local ornithologists around the world.

According to the prof, bird calls are not the simple matter one might suppose. Some types of bird apparently sing in regional dialects: others have an astonishing repertoire of different sounds. Apparently "a single male Brown Thrasher is known to give 2,000 different notes".

Rasmussen hopes that the AVoCet database will help the ornithology and birdwatching community to increase humanity's knowledge of its feathered chums in a scientific and systematic manner.

"We know that certain species will go extinct in the near future and, sadly, there's not a lot that can realistically be done about it," she says. "However, ornithologists and birders [twitchers or birdwatchers] do now have the opportunity to document virtually all the species of birds out there in one way or another, and one major goal of AVoCet is to contribute to this effort."

You can find out more about AVoCet here. ®

Bootnote

Twitching is evidently not the hobby of the sad, unsuccessful misanthrope of popular lore – if any sad misanthropes are involved they are plainly wealthy and successful ones. A birdwatching tome, John James Audubon's Birds of America, has just set a new world record for most expensive book at £7.3m.

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SECRET U.S. 'SPACE WARPLANE' set to return from SPY MISSION
Robot minishuttle X-37B returns after almost 2 years in orbit
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
White LED lies: It's great, but Nobel physics prize-winning great?
How artificial lighting could offer an artificial promise
Origins of SEXUAL INTERCOURSE fished out of SCOTTISH LAKE
Fossil find proves it first happened 385 million years ago
America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft
674 days in space for US Air Force's mystery orbital vehicle
NASA eyeballs SOLAR HEAT BOMBS, MINI-TORNADOES and NANOFLARES on Sun
Astro boffins probe fiery star's hidden depths
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.