Why do I have to upload my recordings to Xeno-canto?

Xeno-canto is a foundation dedicated to sharing recordings of bird vocalizations from around the world. Thousands of recordists share their recordings online for interest, enthusiasm and research.

Because the White-Throat Song project is powered by citizen scientists we feel that the recordings should be shared in an open manner. By having users upload first to Xeno-canto it is logistically easier for us to handle the data, and we make sure that recordings are shared with the community right away.

Will my smartphone work?

This is a tricky one. Most smartphones should be able to get decent recordings provided you can get close enough. Some phones will, of course, be better than others. Let us know if you’re concerned about the quality of your recordings!

Can I record other species?

Absolutely! However, for this study at this time, we’re only concerned with white-throated sparrows. If, however, you record other species, feel free to submit them to Xeno-canto, we know they’ll be happy to have them.

What if I can’t find any white-throated sparrows?

Unfortunately, some of you may not live in the range of white-throated sparrows (see Finding Sparrows). However, if you still want to participate, consider your travels. Are you planning to visit a place where white-throated sparrows are more common? If not and you still want to participate in a citizen science project check out our other projects page for links to other citizen science projects you could participate in.

What’s with the WTSP acronym?

WTSP is the 4-letter bird banders’ code for white-throated sparrows. It isn’t particularly informative, but it is a commonly used short hand.

Will I find out the results of the research?

Absolutely! We will be updating news on this site and releasing preliminary reports as we develop them. We plan to publish the results in an open-source format, so once they are available they will also be posted here.

What if I have older recordings or recordings already on Xeno-canto?

That’s excellent! If you have older recordings, feel free to upload them to Xeno-canto and submit them to us, just make sure the date is correct. If you have older recordings that you have already submitted to Xeno-canto you don’t have to do anything! We’ve scoured Xeno-canto for older recordings of white-throated sparrows and will acknowledge the recordists of any recordings we use.

What if I can’t record 10 males?

Don’t worry about it. Every male that you record is helpful to us. If you can record 10, that’s fantastic, if not, just send us what you have!

I really don’t want to sign up for Xeno-canto, can I still participate?

If you really don’t want to put your recordings up on Xeno-canto, you’re welcome to email them to us.

Just make sure you include:

      You name
      Where you recorded the bird
      When you recorded the bird
      Whether any of your recordings are from the same bird