Recording tips

The Macaulay Library is here to help you meet the challenges of recording birds and other animals in the wild. These pages contains tips on how to maximize the quality of your sound and video recordings.


Preparing and uploading media

Learn how to prepare your photos, videos, or audio recordings to be archived in the Macaulay Library.

Audio editing tutorials
Take a more in-depth look at preparing audio recordings with these step-by-step tutorials for several popular editing programs.


Setting up recording apps
Get some more information on recommended smartphone apps and getting them set up.

Why WAV files?
Why do we recommend using .WAV format when making audio recordings? Find out more about the rationale and the benefits of uncompressed files.

Choose recording gear

From recorders to parabolas, learn how to choose recording gear that’s right for you.

Using and rating media

Find out more about how to rate and tag your media, as well as how to find what you’re looking for in the Macaulay Library archive.

Target species
Join the Macaulay Library treasure hunt and help complete the archive. Find the species that are missing from the Macaulay Library or search for species that have the fewest recordings or photos.

Photo + Sound Quiz

Level up on your bird ID skills and help curate the Macaulay Library so it is more useful to you and for research, education, and conservation.


Sound recording workshop

Learn sound recording techniques from the experts at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. The workshop includes hands-on instruction of field recording techniques and an introduction to software to edit and prepare your recordings to archive in the Macaulay Library.

Student opportunities

Are you interested in animal behavior, technology, or museum curation? Learn about all of the exciting ways to join the Macaulay Library to pursue questions in behavioral and evolutionary ecology.