The Welcome Swallow has recordings in the Macaulay Library database.

The Welcome Swallow has recordings in the Macaulay Library database.

The Macaulay Library at Cornell University has created an online searchable database that has over 150,000 recordings of 9,000 species, including a whopping three-quarters of the world’s bird species.

While the database has an extensive bird sound collection, which is pure joy in itself, it also has 30,000 audio & video recordings of mammals, reptiles, amphibians, insects & even fish.

I started using this database with fish because apart from whales & dolphins, I had no idea fish had their own song. The fish sounds were fabulous & quite surprising. Fish make incredible tones.  Some sound like farts, while others like metal zippers & there are plenty more.

The database is user-friendly & easily searchable.  The search engine allows you to look for audio, video or both. Each search brings up a sound recording, a video if available & a map indicating where the recording was taken. The year of the recoding is also available.  The recordings began in 1929, so you might find yourself listening to a fish that was alive in 1954.

This database is just plain fun & interesting for people who have an interest in & enjoy nature. It also has huge benefits for schools, as it allows children to hear the animal, insect, bird or fish & many times be able to watch a short video of it in its natural environment.

I think that these recordings could also be of great use for artists & musicians.

You can access the Macaulay Library at –