The 90 for 90 Challenge: a celebration of Macaulay Library’s 90th year

By Macaulay Library Team
Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Rose-breasted Grosbeak Pheucticus ludovicianus

  • Massachusetts, Middlesex, United States

Ninety years ago, on May 18th, 1929 Peter Paul Kellogg and Doc Allen made the first recording of a wild bird in North America. To celebrate that day and the joys of recording we challenged you to make 90 recordings over a 7-month period, and you really stepped up the plate and gave it your all! The recording community archived a total of 114,074 recordings with their eBird checklists from April 1 to October 31, including sounds of 4,823 species from 156 countries. Of these recordings, 81,705 were in uncompressed .wav format, the archival standard and a requirement to be eligible to win. An amazing 233 people met the threshold of 90 .wav recordings during the contest period.

But what you are all probably waiting for is the list of winners! Drum roll, please…

The grand prize goes to Brian Henderson. Brian will receive a complete recording package including a Sound Devices MixPre-3Wildtronics Amplified Pro Mono Parabolic Microphone with a feather-light dish, extra battery pack, cables, and a Strut case.

Brian made some excellent recordings and we are looking forward to hearing more recordings with his new equipment! We particularly enjoyed his recording of a group of Sandhill Cranes.

Sandhill Crane Antigone canadensis

  • New Mexico, Socorro, United States

The second prize goes to Daniel Leger who will receive a pair of Zeiss Terra ED 8×42 binoculars and an eBird hat. Among others things, Daniel archived a some older recordings from a trip to Costa Rica, a nice addition to the archive.

Yellow-crowned Euphonia Euphonia luteicapilla

  • Heredia, Costa Rica

The third prize goes to Hemant Ware who will receive an eBird hat plus a 1-year subscription to Birds of North America or a $100 gift certificate to Bird Academy. Hemant attended a sound recording workshop lead by Macaulay Library staff in India where he learned the finer points of sound recording and made this nice recording of a White-browed Fantail.

White-browed Fantail Rhipidura aureola

  • Uttarakhand, Dehradun, India

Thank you to everyone who participated! We are thrilled with the turnout and hope to do more recording contests in the future. If this contest inspired you to record birds, take a look at our sound recording techniques to help build your skills.

Special thanks to Wildtronics and Zeiss for their donations!