Sunday, December 24, 2006

Raven Viewer

Identifying birds in the field can at times be a challenge, but an even greater challenge is trying to identify birds only by their song. I have no problem with all the local year-round birds such as the cardinal, blue jay, mockingbird, etc., but many if not all the warblers can really make my head spin. In the Autumn 2006 issue of Living Bird, the journal of the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology, I found out about the Lab's mutimedia web-based application called Raven Viewer which allows anyone to not only hear, but to also visualize bird sounds that are in their massive archive. The software offers spectrograms and waveforms of each. I must also mention that birds are not the only animals covered. Also included are the sounds of other animals such as insects, frogs, toads, whales, seals, and many others. Check it out. Raven Viewer can be downloaded here.

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