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2 Millionth Sound Recording Uploaded into Macaulay Library

Yellow bird with black stripes and a black bill with white patches by bill, perched on a branch.
A recording of calls by a Yellow-browed Tody-Flycatcher was the two-millionth recording submitted to the Macaulay Library. Photo by Chris Thomas / Macaulay Library.

From the Spring 2024 issue of Living Bird magazine. Subscribe now.

Last year on October 14, ornithol­ogist Marcelo Barbosa uploaded an eBird checklist from a farm in northern Brazil with 20 species in all, including some manakins, an Amazo­nian Motmot, and photos and an audio recording of calls by a Yellow-browed Tody-Flycatcher.

With that, the Cornell Lab of Orni­thology’s Macaulay Library of natural history media passed a milestone—2 million sound recordings in the archive, and counting. (Barbosa’s eBird checklist also included audio of a calling Black-throated Antbird and a singing Coraya Wren.)

Since eBird added the capability for birders to upload audio files to their eBird checklists in 2015, the Macaulay Library’s inventory of sound record­ings has grown tenfold. The vast archive of bird sounds provides valuable data about species locations, ranges, behav­ior, and evolution for scientific research and conservation.

The two millionth recording uploaded to Macaulay Library: calls from a Yellow-browed Tody-Flycatcher. Recording by Marcelo Barbosa / Macaulay Library. [Audio description: Repetitive series of cheeps.]

“This milestone is a mind-blowing community accomplishment,” says Mike Webster, director of the Macaulay Library, while noting that more than 38,000 audio recordists contributed to that milestone. “It inspires me to see so many birders sharing their recordings so that we all can enjoy, and study, the sounds of the birds of the world.”

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American Kestrel by Blair Dudeck / Macaulay Library

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