Basics of Bird Recording

So you’ve decided you want to make your own bird song recordings. What are your next steps?

First thing is get to a location that you can hear birds, and there isn’t too much background noise. Next, you will want some sort of recording device (a mobile phone can do–you can use the voice recorder app of your choice, or see the forum for recording app recommendations). It is good practice to name the recording or speak into the recording the time and place it occurs.

Now come the more challenging parts: editing and uploading. Those of you familiar with ebird and have submitted recordings there probably know the basics, and can easily process your files for xeno-canto. (Unfortunately, xeno-canto wants upload files in .mp3 formats, so you can’t directly import from your ebird library, though there are online converters or the software mentioned below can help).

If you have never processed audio files (like your new bird recording) before, there are a few things you will need: a computer, a stable internet connection, and audio editing application or software. Common software used on xeno-canto is audacity (free, open source) or the bird-focused Raven, which comes in a free lite version, or pro.

These and other applications have plenty of guides on their own how to use and make edits with their software, and due to the diversity we will not get into details in this post today. Just know that you can import your file and will need to export as an .mp3 to submit to xeno-canto.

Submitting to xeno-canto is fairly straightforward. Create an account then navigate to their submission page, where it walks you through everything that needs to be entered.

Lastly, make a comment in our new recording forum and we will put it on the site!

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