Qualifying recordings for Macaulay Library contests

To qualify for Macaulay Library contests, recordings must:

  • Be recorded in .WAV format
  • Be more than 30 seconds long
  • Include recording-specific metadata
  • Be edited following archival standards

Record and upload in .WAV format

Recordings must be recorded and uploaded as uncompressed .WAV files. While not required, we encourage recordists to use a sampling rate of at least 48 kHz and a bit depth of 24 bits if your recording device allows it.

If you use a smartphone to record, we highly recommend downloading a free recording app that allows you to record in .WAV format and includes manual gain control. Check out our how-to record with smartphones guide for more information including reviews of recording apps and how to set them up.

Record for more than 30 seconds

We encourage you to record for more than 30 seconds. Night flight calls do not count as qualifying recordings.

Include recording-specific metadata

When you upload your recording with your eBird checklist be sure to include:

  • Sound type (song, call, non-vocal), if known
  • Age and sex, including “Unknown” if applicable
  • Whether or not playback was used
  • Equipment used
  • Rate your recording

Edit your recording following archival standards

Qualifying recordings should be edited according to archival standards. In particular, uploaded recordings should:

  • Be trimmed. Remove any prominent handling noise at the beginning and end of your recording, leaving no more than 3 seconds before the first vocalization and after the last.
  • Be normalized. Have peak level adjusted to -3dB.
  • Be continuous. Multiple segments or files of the same individual should be combined into the same uploaded file. Adjust the level of each segment and separate each segment with one second of silence.
  • Avoid extreme editing, such as noise reduction or strong filters.

Be sure to check out tutorials on how to prepare your recordings with sound editing software.