Maybe you’ve read about this bit of bird song news? Over the past two decades many White-Throated Sparrows have changed their tune from a triplet ending to a double ending. The news is showing up everywhere. Here are a few links to articles about it: Audubon, New York Times, National Geographic, NPR, and The Atlantic. The actual study, can be found in Current Biology.
We love that the authors and many of the journalists emphasize how a research project like this would not easily have been accomplished without the bird sound recordings made/archived by citizen scientists across the continent at places like the Macaulay Library at The Cornell Lab of Ornithology, or Xeno-Canto. The list of 1,783 recordings used in the data set can be found in the Supplementary Information of the study.
Four of the recordings were made by three of our sound recordists during our volunteer service week in 2018! So, THREE CHEERS to Laura Gooch, David Kazdan and Phil Green! Does it seem over the top that we are celebrating over four little recordings in our project that were part of a data set of more than 1,700? It shouldn’t. It is precisely this kind of seemingly small observation that is documented and shared that underlies the importance of citizen science! Individually and collectively, these bird sound recordings are part of an important story about birds and bird song – past, present, and in the future.
There are other White-throated Sparrow recordings in our project’s collection. We post them below for the curious naturalist who wonders if the White-throated Sparrow on Schoodic Peninsula sing double-ended or triple-ended songs. We’re curious too, and will take a closer look after we finish processing the field recordings from June 2020!
Until then, Hip-hip-hooray! Hip-hip-hooray! Hip-hip-hooray!