In the last few weeks, we’ve taken some time to do some behind the scenes work on our site. Most notable we’ve added about 50 more recordings to our page/list of Schoodic Bird Recordings. We now have 280 recordings uploaded to Cornell’s Macaulay Library and have at least 100 more before we are up to date. Hopefully, they will be processed and uploaded before the June 2020 season begins, if in fact our recording season happens at all (due to understandable restrictions associated with Covid-19).
When we added more recordings to the list we also added a column that gives the “community rating” of the recording as well (via the Macaulay Library of Cornell’s Lab of Ornithology where the recordings are archived). In an ideal world, this rating system from 1-5 stars gives you an idea of the quality of the recording. The rating system is not intended to be a rating of the popularity of the recording.
From the Macaulay Library, below is quick guide to assigning audio quality scores:
- 5 Stars: Very strong target sound with little or no background noise.
- 4 Stars: Strong target sound with limited background noise.
- 3 Stars: Good target sound with moderate background noise.
- 2 Stars: Weak target sound with significant background or handling noise.
- 1 Star: Very weak target sound that is barely audible due to high background or handling noise
A five-star rating is reserved for an excellent quality recording. But be aware that a 3-star rating is often a good quality audio recording, and many of ours are. In theory for instance, a recording with frogs or insect noises, other birds, surf on rocks, or buoy bells in the background would not receive as high a rating as without. But those elements do have value! They tell us about the place, time, conditions, perhaps even allies & enemies of the bird we are targeting; and they are not filtered out. Alternatively, some higher rated recordings we personally might not rate as high (not everyone who is rating is using the system as it was designed, or has the same opinion). But the ratings do provide some additional information as you begin to peruse the recordings. You can read more about the Macaulay Library “community rating” system for audio recordings here, and even contribute your ratings of our recordings, or others, following established guidelines.
Lastly, we added a couple of widgets to the site, these are located on the right hand side of each page. We’ve had a monthly post blog since the start, but we’ve added 1) a google map of the Schoodic Peninsula in case you want to look more closely at trails or other areas where we have recorded bird sounds, and 2) an audio player that features some of the tracks from our blog posts. We hope you’ll play around with some of the new widgets.