MANGALURU: Ramit Singal , programme coordinator, Bird Count India, as well as founder Manipal Birders’ Club, now has recorded more than 2,000 audio recordings in the Macaulay Library. Macaulay Library is the world’s premier scientific archive of natural history audio and video recordings as well as photographs at Cornell University , New York.
Ramit, currently in Australia, told TOI it is a platform where anyone can upload their contributions directly or via the bird recording platform eBird. “I use eBird to make bird checklists and in the process, record birds and upload them to the archive via eBird as well.”
Explaining his journey, Ramit who started recording bird calls in 2009, said, “I used my camera to record sounds and later, my phone. I did so, to be able to remember bird calls and shared the calls for others to use as well. I continued recording like this until 2017, when I attended a workshop on sound recording at Cornell University, and since then I have been trying hard to make better quality recordings.”
He now uses more sophisticated equipment to record calls like a sound recorder, a microphone, and a parabolic dish to isolate calls. Making good recordings of bird calls requires knowing what you are recording, patience, quiet environments and preferably calm and clear weather.
Understanding bird sounds is also very important for understanding bird behaviour and their status in the environment they live in.”“I have recorded almost 700 species of birds in various countries, of which 409 were recorded in India,” he said. He enjoyed recording birds in Karnataka the most. “I have recorded 171 species of birds in Karnataka. In the Macaulay Library, I have the highest number of recordings, amongst those recording birds in India, and I am also amongst the top 10 people worldwide, to have added to the archives using eBird. We don’t know a lot about the calls of even the common birds. So, we need a number of people to go out and record often. There are several recordists in India with a large number of recordings, who may not have their recordings on Macaulay Library yet,” he said.