[CT Birds] New bird identification training program "Dendroica"

Mike Warner mjwarner at optonline.net
Fri May 14 08:40:44 EDT 2010

Good Morning,

     Chris has suggested this webpage "should be useful for general 
birding".  I would like to amend that to - it is extrememly useful!  Perhaps 
there was trouble with the link provided.  When the link below opens, under 
"Guest Version"   click on  -USA-.  When the new page opens, there is a 
scrollable list on the right.  Scroll and choose a bird.  A picture will 
come up and you will hear a bird song.  Under the photo there is a box with 
notes and info.  At the bottom left of that info box, it says "Song 1 2 3 4" 
,  click on another number and you will hear alternate songs of that bird. 
To the right of that it says  "Image 1 2 3 4", click on another number and 
you will see photos of the male and female.  Some have pics of the nest and 
eggs or hatchlings too.  This page instantly went to my desktop.


      Thank you Chris, for posting the original message.

Mike Warner
Wilton, CT.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Chris Elphick" <elphick at sbcglobal.net>
To: <ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org>
Sent: Thursday, May 13, 2010 12:23 PM
Subject: [CT Birds] New bird identification training program "Dendroica"

I thought that this information might be of interest given some of the 
recent discussions about bird songs. The site is designed for people 
involved in breeding bird atlases, but it sounds like it should be useful 
for general birding too. I have not actually used the site at all yet, 
though I did see a CD developed for the Ontario atlas, which I think was the 
initial incarnation of this web site.

Hello everybody,

Environment Canada and the USGS Breeding Bird Survey office are pleased to 
announce the official launch of the bird identification training program 
Dendroica: An aid to the identification of North American Birds.


Dendroica is an interactive website developed to help students, volunteers 
and professionals improve their skills at identifying birds by sight or by 
sound, particularly so that they can participate in nature survey and 
monitoring programs, including Breeding Bird Atlases. The site includes bird 
species from throughout Canada, the USA, and Mexico. The program includes up 
to 8 or more different sound recordings and photographs for each species as 
well as descriptions of the songs of each species. Although there are still 
a number of gaps in our coverage, especially from Mexico, the program also 
allows participants to contribute new photographs and sound recordings, so 
it will continue to improve over time. We hope that, as more people use the 
program, we will be able to fill many of our gaps in coverage -- although we 
already have more than 4000 each of photos and sound recordings.

To use all of the features of the program, participants should register 
(registration is free) and sign-in. This will allow users to select lists of 
species to study, such as all the breeding (or non-breeding) species in a 
particular region, or species with a particular song type or from a 
particular taxonomic group, or they can make their own lists. They can then 
study the photos or sound recordings and read the song descriptions for the 
selected species before quizzing themselves to see how well they are doing. 
The quiz randomly picks songs and/or photos (users can choose) from among 
the list available for each species. This is particularly valuable for 
learning bird songs because we have multiple recordings of most species, so 
users don't always get the same recording for a particular species.

We would like to encourage you to use the program and, if you are running 
any Breeding Bird Atlases, promote the use of the program with your atlas 
participants. Feel free to put links to the program on your atlas websites 
or in the promotional material that you send to your atlasers.

Also, if any of your atlasers have high quality photographs or (better yet) 
well edited sound recordings that will enhance the program or help to fill 
gaps, please encourage them to contribute to the program.

Also, if you have suggestions for ways that the program could be improved, 
please let us know so that we can consider them. For example, if you would 
like to review the list of species recorded for your state / province - 
especially breeding species - let us know and we will send you a copy of the 
list for you to review (the current lists were derived from the Avibase data 
base, but in some cases breeding status was inferred from range maps).

There are several improvements that we are already planning, in addition to 
continuing to expand the database of photos and recordings. Currently, the 
program is available in English and French, but we will be adding a Spanish 
version in the near future. We will also be adding a new set of maps to 
provide better detail than the current maps, produced by Andrew Couturier 
from the NatureServe dataset. This will require some program redesign to 
accommodate. We are also working on a new module that will allow users to 
listen to recordings of "point counts" and try to identify all of the birds 
that can be heard on the recording, though it may be a while before that 
module is ready for release.

We hope you find Dendroica useful.

Charles M. Francis, PhD
Manager | Gestionnaire
Species Abundance and Distribution | Abondance et répartition des espèces
Canadian Wildlife Service | Service canadien de la faune

Environment Canada | Environnement Canada

1125 Colonel By, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1A 0H3
Charles.Francis at ec.gc.ca<mailto:Charles.Francis at ec.gc.ca>

Telephone | Téléphone 613-998-0332

Facsimile | Télécopieur 613-998-0458

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