Guest blog by Professor Stephen Wilis, Director of Research in the Department of Biosciences at Durham University
From the melodic tune of the blackbird to the cheerful chirp of the house sparrow, bird song is all around us.
Now, researchers from Durham University are inviting you to become a citizen-scientist and help them track the variety and distribution of garden birds by tuning into the songs.
Can you help with recording the birds in your local space? (c) Stephen Wilis
It is part of a project called Nature’s Audio, led by Professor Stephen Willis of the University’s Department of Biosciences, which is aiming to produce the first nationwide sample of garden birdsong across the UK, to help understand where and when birds are singing.
The team is encouraging people to get involved by listening-to and recording birdsong in their garden or local area and uploading this to a dedicated website.
How to take part
All you need is a smartphone to record the birdsong you hear in your garden or local greenspace and upload it to the project website for inclusion in the study. You can then go back to the site and see which species have been identified in your recordings.
The website also has sound clips and information to help visitors learn to identify birds through their songs, as well as short quizzes to test your ID skills. Budding ornithologists can even help to identify species in the audio clips collected by the project.
The project is open to anyone to take part and if you don’t have access to a garden, you can listen out for birdsong in their local park or when out and about.
To find out more visit the Nature’s Audio website at www.naturesaudio.org
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