DAWN CHORUS is collecting bird songs – with new app!

With a new free app, DAWN CHORUS invites people around the world to record and share their local morning bird song and make an important contribution to biodiversity research. Use the “Sonic Feather” app feature to create your own media artwork with every new recording and become a citizen artist! Sonic Feather >

The app is available at no charge for iOS and Android:

Since the app was completely new developed, we are looking forward to all your feedback – anytime via email or our contact form.

The app was developed for smartphones with Android version 8 / iOS version 11 or higher. Of course, it is still possible to upload your bird song via our website upload form.

Be part of the DAWN CHORUS

In May 2021 and beyond, DAWN CHORUS invites you again to repeat your recordings from 2020 – with new developed app and media art feature „Sonic Feather“. Keep recording bird songs and create you unique „Sonic Feather“. Join the Dawn Chorus!

Upload the recordings to the global sound map and share your experience with people around the world. It’s very easy to create and share your recording. All you need is a smartphone and the DAWN CHORUS app.

We are looking for dawn chorus recordings, i.e. audio recordings made between dawn and sunrise. Ideally, you will find your favourite spot, and will keep recording from it for many years, at roughly the same date and time.

During the dawn chorus, different bird species start singing at different times. This means that a single Dawn Chorus recording only represents a snapshot in time, a tiny piece of a puzzle. You can help us complete this puzzle by uploading multiple recordings from the same morning between dawn and sunrise. Can you hear the difference?

If you are really motivated, you can contribute to a study on human-made noise by recording on a local holiday and a subsequent working day, again at roughly the same time.

How to record bird song with the DAWN CHORUS app

Prepare

Before you go out: Choose the location you wish to record from. This can be your window, garden or your favourite spot. Check your local time of dawn and sunrise. Set an alarm and get up early.

 

Record

We recommend placing your smartphone on a stable surface, start the automatic 1-minute recording process, step away, and be very quiet. Holding the phone in your hand during the recording may cause unintentional noise.

Additional information

We then ask you a few additional questions for science

  • Weather: local weather may influence bird song – and can be quite different from what weather apps tell us.
  • Habitat: We want to know more about the environment of your Dawn Chorus recording (e.g. city versus forest)
  • Noise: How much human-made or natural noise can you hear? It is currently not possible to extract scientifically valid noise levels from the diverse smartphone recordings, so we need your estimates as citizen scientists.
  • Holiday/working day: How does the world around you sound like on a normal working day compared to a local holiday, at roughly the same time? Do you hear a difference?

Bird species

Let us know if you recognised any bird species singing during your recording.

Algorithms still have a hard time recognising individual species during the noisy dawn chorus. But science is working hard on this. Why not give the Chirp-O-Matic App a try? We also listed some interesting links on how to recognise bird song.

Get creative

If you like, take a photo of your recording spot to share your Dawn Chorus experience. You can also use this photo later on to create your Sonic Feather. Learn more >

Feel inspired by your early morning experience? Feel free to share a poem, a story or just a sentence about how you felt.

Immediately after the upload you can find your birdsong as a part of the great Chorus on the worldwide Soundmap. Share your recording via Facebook, Twitter oder per link with your friends.

Want to record more?

If you want to provide even more valuable scientific data for the DAWN CHORUS project, repeat your recording procedure at the same place on a second day, ideally on a weekday and a holiday. This will allow further investigation of the effects of noise pollution.

Your recordings and information will be published anonymously.

For instructions on how to upload your bird song via the website upload form please see below.

Instructions for uploading your birdsong

Find out at what time the sun currently rises in your region (e.g. via the weather app on your smartphone or here). Choose a recording location near you. This could be your window, balcony or garden, a park, meadow or forest near you. Make sure the environment is relatively quiet, and please adhere to local corona protection measures. Find the audio recording function on your phone and familiarize yourself with it. Set your alarm. You should set your recording time to 30 minutes before sunrise.

Get up very early and be at the recording location about 30 minutes before sunrise. Place your recording equipment on a solid surface or tripod, protected from wind and rain, and aim the microphone at the birdsong. Activate the Airplane Mode on your phone and start recording via the audio recording function. Then walk away and be very quiet during the recording. Record 30 to 90 seconds of sound, and retrieve device. Stop the recording. Note time, temperature and other factors, that you will be asked in the upload form later. Ideally, you should make several recordings at intervals of 10-15 minutes. The individual files should not be larger than 20 Mbyte.

After you have saved your soundscapes, check if the bird calls are well audible. Trim off disturbing noises at the beginning and end if necessary or possible but do not use any filters. Upload your finished recordings using the upload form on this page. It is possible to upload several files at once. Use the upload form to provide important information about your recording. It is essential for scientific usability. Attach a picture of your recording location so that others can see in which environment your recordings were produced.

You can also add texts such as poems or thoughts that are related to your recording. In this way, you will also create a valuable collection of creative content which will later be incorporated into artistic projects surrounding the DAWN CHORUS.

Immediately after the upload you can find your birdsong on the worldwide Soundmap and as a part of the great Chorus. With the birdsong_number you can easily search for your recording among all the others.

Share your recording via Facebook, Twitter oder per link with your family and friends.

To achieve even higher quality audio-recordings you can find more information about the recording-features of your smartphone and third-party recording-apps here:

Some Android phones have good built-in sound recording Apps, such as Samsung’s Voice Recorder.

For a better recording, you can download and install apps that allow high-quality sound recordings. Their default settings are a good start, but if you would like to support us with a high-quality recording, please set the bitrate to 320 kbps. Sampling rate should be 44100 Hz (sometimes called 44kHz). For highest quality recordings, change the format to “wav”. Please note that file size will increase with increasing audio quality.

Here are some app suggestions:

– Hi-Q MP3 Voice Recorder (Free) by “Audiophile”. You will find your recording in a folder called “Recordings”. Make sure that “stereo” is switched off (default), and under “microphone”, please select “unprocessed (raw)”.

– MP3 recorder by “Smart Mobile Tools”. You will find your recording in a folder called “com.fragileheart.recorder”.  Please disable “noise suppressor” (German: Rauschunterdrückung).

– Voice Recorder by “quality apps (recorder, weather, music)”You will find your recording in a folder called: “Recorders”

As a simple option, you may use the inbuilt Voice Memos app. Please avoid “lossless” setting. Choose “compressed” setting instead.

For a better recording, you can download and install apps that allow high-quality sound recordings. Their default settings are a good start, but if you would like to support us with a high-quality recording, please set the bitrate to 320 kbps. Sampling rate should be 44100 Hz (sometimes called 44kHz). For highest quality recordings, change the format to “wav”. Please note that file size will increase with increasing audio quality.

Here are some iOS App suggestions which can provide good quality WAV sound recordings:

  • Hokusai 2
  • AVR (Awesome Voice Recorder)
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