I noticed quite a few mentions of xeno-canto these last few days, and thought
it would be good to clarify some points.
Xeno-canto is a place where people share recordings of birds from all over the
world, and this is done in mp3 format. For many
research purposes, mp3 is fine. E.g., to substantiate an observation of a rare
bird, as voucher specimens for biodiversity surveys, and indeed
many people use them for more detailed vocal analyses as well. We do get
requests for raw WAVs, and many recordists keep these at home, so
we forward these requests to the recordists.
Xeno-canto does not put any restrictions on recording quality. You should see
XC as a place to organise and share your own recordings, and we just provide a
platform to do that. There are plenty of poor recordings (and even more very
good ones) on XC, and they all have their purpose. For automatic
identification, for instance, it is more relevant to try to match a template
with a poor recording than with a good one, since the template (unknown ID)
will probably be poor too. Recordings don't have to be special or of rare
birds. Even the most mundane birds will hold vocal surprises once you really
start paying attention. This at least is my own experience with the (very well
known, supposedly) European avifauna.
Australia has not been covered well up till now, and these collecitons become
useful only when a certain critical mass has been reached. We invite you all to
contribute some material. We are always happy to help out where possible,
though we cannot do any digitization ourselves. But we are experienced to
handle with larger datasets, and have uploaded large batches for some
recordists in the past.
I hope to see some heightened interest in XC Australia soon!
Feel free to ask any other questions.
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