Today, I’ve been surrounded by animal talk. It’s a glorious day – very warm for this time of year in Colorado. I had a window open and approximately 50 birds (mostly cedar waxwings and robins) were feasting on the berries produced by the tree in front of my house.
The sounds of all those birds really got my cat going. She alternated between her chirping "I’m going to get you" hunting cry and her somewhat frantic "I got you" (even though she didn’t) meow. Apollo the boxer was revved up too, running out the dog door every five minutes or so to bark at the pedestrians who dared to use the sidewalk that runs alongside our backyard.
If you’re interested in hearing what all these animals (and many more) sound like, a fantastic resource is now available to the general public. The Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology has digitized its archive of animal sounds, and it is available online. Don’t let the name of the lab fool you, the collection includes bird, mammal, insect, and amphibian sounds ... more than 9,000 of them.
I’m going to keep this post short so you have some extra time to have fun with the collection. Find out how your dog responds to a wolf’s howl or what type of bird call grabs your cat’s attention. My favorite wildlife sound has to be the common loon. I know. It’s up there at the top of everyone’s list… but for good reason. Listening to that recording with my eyes closed, I can almost convince myself I’m back at one of my favorite camping spots on a lake in northern Ontario.
If you find something that is especially intriguing, post it in the comments section here so we can all enjoy. The database is searchable by both common and scientific name.
As an aside, I want to thank all of you who took last week’s survey. I received over 120 responses in the first 24 hours! I will use the information you provided to better address the concerns that many pet owners share.
Dr. Jennifer Coates