Kathi Borgmann

Macaulay Library the Muse: An Exploration of Bird Song in Art

By Marie Chappell
Birds and their sounds have been a part of the arts for centuries. In 1924 Ottorino Respighi requested that a recording of a nightingale be played in his composition The Pines of Rome. Respighi’s artistic choice was controversial at the time; his contemporaries thought it more appropriate to use the orchestra to imitate bird song…

Winners of the Bird Song Challenge

By The Macaulay Library Team
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.  …

White-throated Sparrows are changing their tune: your recordings at work for science

By Kathi Borgmann
The sweet song of the White-throated Sparrow drifts through forests and meadows all summer long across Canada, the northeastern U.S., and the northern Midwest. Field guides tell us that the song they sing sounds like Oh-sweet-canada-canada-canada or Old-Sam-Peabody-Peabody-Peabody.  But, Dr. Ken Otter, from the University of Northern British Columbia, Canada, and colleagues recently discovered that…

Jerry Liguori, raptor expert, preserves his legacy in the Macaulay Library

By Kathi Borgmann
Jerry Liguori has dedicated his life to sharing his knowledge and passion for raptors with the world. Nobody knows raptors better than Liguori—he is the authority on North American hawks. Liguori has authored numerous articles and three authoritative, must-have books on raptor identification, as well as a ground-breaking video-focused raptor ID app. His books offer…

A simple song can say a lot: Geographic differences in the Chipping Sparrow’s song are discovered using citizen-science recordings

By Abigail Searfoss, PhD and Nicole Creanza, PhD, Vanderbilt University
Many avian species in North America differ in physical appearance, leading researchers to split them into separate subspecies, often based on geography. Just how subspecies form is a question many researchers are trying to answer: How do these physical and plumage differences arise? Do subspecies have behavioral differences, too, such as different songs? How do…

An expedition to the Solomon Islands with sound recordist Lucas DeCicco

By Kathi Borgmann
In the 21st century, surprising as it might seem, there are still places on earth that we know little about. Take the Solomon Islands, a group of six major islands with more than 900 smaller islands in the middle of the South Pacific Ocean, east of Papua New Guinea. Scientists say that there is still…