This database is currently restricted to sounds made by birds, although of course it nevertheless inadvertently forms a rich repository of frog, insect, and mammal sounds, along with various anthropogenic noises. While our emphasis is on sounds made by wild birds, recordings of captive birds or even domestic bird breeds may be useful, bearing in mind that especially in the case of oscine passerine birds bred in captivity or parrots, many vocalizations will differ greatly from those of wild birds.
At the present time, we make an effort to list all avian species known to be vocalizing in the recording as presented online in addition to the species under which the recording is databased (the “target species” ). These additional, usually quieter or off-axis species, are listed in the “other/background birds identified in sonagram” field. Sometimes, however, it is not feasible to identify them all, in which case they are left blank, or alternatively be listed to genus, major group, or questionably in this field. Generally the levels of certainty of these additional species are not assessed, nor are they at this time searchable in the database. Hence, in a few cases the same or similar segments of an original recording that includes more than one species is catalogued twice, under two different species.
The most commonly occurring domestic bird sound in recordings of wild birds is the chicken, derived from the Red Junglefowl Gallus gallus. In areas where this species occurs in the wild, it is usually possible to distinguish song of domestic vs. wild birds by the distinctly shorter terminal note of the latter. Even when not a wild sound, presence of this species is typically mentioned in the “other/background birds” field, followed by an indication of whether it is wild or domestic, if known. Other domestic avian species (geese, ducks etc.) are also included in this field. Other animal sounds are included, often in a very generic fashion, e.g. “gibbons”, in the “other noise” field. Note that most bird recordists (site coordinator included) are not experts on frog or insect sounds, and hence may occasionally make wrong judgments in these matters. This category also includes any other relevant sound, such as rain, speech, traffic noise, etc.