Winners of the Bird Song Challenge

By The Macaulay Library Team
Henslow's Sparrow

Henslow's Sparrow Centronyx henslowii

  • Indiana, Marion, United States

This year we challenged you to rate at least 150 audio recordings in the archive or archive at least 50 recordings from April through June. More than 250 people ravenously rated audio recordings in the archive and helped to curate the audio collection and more than 7,000 people archived audio recordings during the contest period.  

The winner of the ravenous rater contest is Alan Troyer from Tennessee. Alan rated 211 audio recordings when he was studying bird songs and calls with the eBird Photo + Sound quiz. For his efforts Troyer will receive a one-year subscription to Birds of the World. Congratulations Alan!

Troyer says, “I’ve found that the process of rating audio is an excellent way of brushing up on my birding by ear skills. The recordings in the Macaulay Library are much more varied than what you would find in a birding app with many recordings of uncommon calls, partial songs, etc., which is great as this is a large part of actual field experience. All in all it’s basically just a good way to spend some time when I have it on my hands.” Thank you Alan for helping curate the archive. 

Our Home Archivist contest encouraged contributors to archive at least 50 qualifying recordings between April and June. The winner of this contest is Dondi Black, who archived 84 recordings supported by excellent metadata. Congratulations Dondi! Black was one of 435 recordists who uploaded 50 or more .wav recordings during the contest period. As the contest winner, Dondi will receive a Tascam DR-100MkIII and a Sennheiser ME 67/K6 microphone for her efforts. Black is already using her iPhone to make nice recordings of Cliff Swallows and other local birds, but she’s excited to have the new equipment to make higher-quality recordings.

Cliff Swallow Petrochelidon pyrrhonota

  • Idaho, Elmore, United States

Black says, “I initially started recording bird songs that I couldn’t identify to review later or share with friends. The Home Archivist contest motivated me to record the birds in my area to have them represented in the database. The pandemic provided the opportunity for me to spend more time collecting and processing audio files and learning how to do it better using the information provided by Macaulay Library. Many recordings are needed before an accurate song identification tool can be created and I want to contribute to that effort.” 

The Macaulay Library would like to extend a huge thank you to all of the recordists and community scientists who have archived recordings with their eBird checklists and helped curate the archive by rating recordings and photos. Thank you!