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Publish at September 16 2013 Updated April 28 2022

Listen... Do you know this bird ?

The most complete database of bird songs online, with free access

Xeno-canto is a database that currently includes more than 140,000 recordings of bird songs captured all around the world. This treasure trove is freely accessible, under a Creative Commons license, and everyone is invited to contribute to it.

The Xeno-canto website was created by the international foundation of the same name and, more particularly, by Willem-Pier Welinga and Bob Planqué, who still run it from the Netherlands. The platform is fully available in 9 languages, including French, and the species names are translated into 10 additional languages, including Chinese, Russian and Japanese.

An achievement of this magnitude cannot be the work of just two people, or even a team. Xeno-canto is indeed a totally collaborative project: everyone is invited to deposit their sounds (after free registration on the platform) by providing the essential information for their indexation (name of the species, location of the sound recording, possibly photo...). One can also ask for the help of the community to identify the birds authors of "mystery" songs, thanks to the localized recordings and the geographical forums on which professional and amateur ornithologists (scientists studying birds) debate.

The site is useful for scientists, but not only. It is also designed for the merely curious, anyone who wants to find out how a particular species sings. From the home page, one has access to a selection of new and randomly chosen recordings. Clicking on a name takes one to a map that shows where the record was made, but also the range of the species and possibly its migration range, nesting range, etc. Below this is the actual recording. One can also effect a geographic search, drawing with the mouse a rectangle on a map that will provide all the recordings made in that territory. All recordings are downloadable.

Bird lovers, you will not be able to do without Xeno-canto. Simple curious, after discovering some songs there you will no longer listen to nature in the same way!

Listen for example:

Amani's Sunbird, recorded in Kenya

King Albatross, recorded in New Zealand

The Ashy Lark, recorded in South Africa

The Curved-billed Climber, recorded in Brazil

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