“One swallow does not make a summer, but one skein of geese, cleaving the murk of a March thaw, is the spring.”
The great naturalist Aldo Leopold took detailed notes in his journals every morning before sunrise, logging the birds he heard calling on his farm in rural Wisconsin. Now, using journals from the Aldo Leopold archives, and bird calls from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, researchers at UW-Madison have replicated what Aldo Leopold would have heard one morning on his farm in the 1940s autoplays bird calls.
The Urban Bird Sounds Project and podcast. The students of Codman Academy Charter Public School have developed a free CD to help you learn to "recognize bird sounds in the city." [more inside]
So* you want to learn the Language of Birds? There's the mnemonic route and the youtube guide. You can listen to the birds in your local habitat or geographic area: New York State**, Florida, Southwestern US, Tropical America***, for example. Or, just find your favorite bird out of 104,517 audio and 33,693 video samples at Cornell's Macaulay Library, and listen. [more inside]
Birds that rap and cows with accents. The big picture is urban adaptation, which is pretty cool. (...and the egg wins.)
Charles Kellogg was born in 1868 in California and claimed to have the larynx of a bird (called a syrinx). Until his death in 1949, he lectured and entertained audiences as a performer of bird calls. He travelled across the continent in the Travel Log, a mobile home carved from a single Redwood log mounted on a 1917 Nash Quad truck chassis. In 1939, he smuggled samples of the Kakaula plant out of Fiji in hopes of providing birth control leader Margaret Sanger with the perfect contraceptive.