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Re: Sound pressure level of animal vocalizations, measured in dB at the

To: Axel Drioli <>
Subject: Re: Sound pressure level of animal vocalizations, measured in dB at the source
From: Vincent Lostanlen <>
Date: Sat, 14 Aug 2021 19:16:38 +0000

Hello Axel and all,

Here's my bibliography at the moment. Many thanks from Guillaume Dutilleux and Sue Anne Zollinger for their help.

This 1979 paper by John Brackenbury
"Power capabilities of the avian sound-producing system"

Table 1 has some dB @ 1 meter data for 18 European species of birds
Here's a link:

Henrik Brumm,  Sue Anne Zollinger, et al. measured nightingales in different background noise conditions in this paper:




Zebra finches:



And there’s the new work from Jeff Podos et al. on white bellbirds, and screaming pihas



On 14/08/2021 20:36, Axel Drioli wrote:
Hi Vincent

Have you found any answer to this in the end?


On Mon, 26 Jul 2021 at 20:47, Vincent Lostanlen <> wrote:
Dear all,

Has any of you got a bibliographical reference about the sound pressure
level (in dB) of bird vocalizations?

I am pursuing a research project whose goal is to evaluate the
robustness of bioacoustic classifiers to the presence of background noise.

For this purpose, my plan is to simulate the presence of a vocalizing
animal via a loudspeaker, set in a naturally noisy environment: forest,
river, etc. Meanwhile, i intend to record the sound coming from the
louspeakers by means of an acoustic sensor network whose units are
placed at various known distances. Finally, i should be able to measure
the drop in accuracy of the automatic classifier as the distance
increases (and thus as the signal-to-noise ratio decreases).

What is missing from my protocol is a way to calibrate the loudspeaker
so that it delivers the pre-recorded vocalization at signal level that
is credible. Hence my question: is there a data repository containing
the (average) sound level of a vocalization, as a function of species? I
imagine that this sound level would be expressed in dB SPL at 1 meter or
some distance-specific measure like that.

I am generally interested in knowing the numbers for any terrestrial
species but my main focus resides in the following species of European

* Eurasian Wren
* Eurasian Robin
* Eurasian Blackcap
* Common Wood-Pigeon
* Common Chaffinch
* Zitting Cisticola
* Bluethroat
* Water Rail
* Eurasian Skylark
* Meadow Pipit

Take care!


Axel Drioli

Creating immersive sound-led natural history experiences for conservation.
Using Spatial Audio as a research tool for Bioacoustics and Soundscape Ecology.

Also founder of the award-winning studio
Creating sonic immersive experiences for XR and installations.

Tel-Facetime: +44 7460 223640

'Life On The Edge', a Sounding Wild x Spatial Audio Labs production for Wildlife Alliance is part of EarthXR 2020 , Wildlife Conservation Film Festival, San Pedro Film Festival and ARTSxSDGs official selection. Also Finalist at SXSW2020 Virtual Noise Showcase

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