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Wildlife sounds: birds and mammals

The British Library Sound Archive holds an extensive collection of bird and mammal sounds.

Bird sounds

The avifauna of most parts of the world are represented, covering more than 8,000 species (over 80% of the world's total). The collections are particularly rich in sounds of birds of Britain and the rest of the West Palearctic region. Many recordings are accompanied by detailed behavioural notes, and for some species in-depth recordings of whole vocabularies are available.

There is also good coverage of Afrotropical, Neotropical, Oriental, Australasian and Antarctic avifaunas.

An important contribution is a collection of recordings by the French recordist Claude Chappuis. Research collections deposited include W.H. Thorpe's Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs recordings used for his classic paper on bird song learning, A. Knox's research tapes on Crossbills Loxia species and Redpolls Acanthis flammea, and Janet Kear's recordings made for her study of the voices of young Anatidae.

Mammal sounds

Over 800 mammal species from most zoological families are represented. The scope is worldwide although the collection is especially strong on mammals of Britain and the rest of western Europe, with particularly good samples of Badger Meles meles, Fox Vulpes vulpes and most deer. Marine mammals, bats, primates and British mammals are all well represented. Special collections include D. Pye's recordings of ultrasonic bat sounds, S.K. Bearder's recordings of Bushbabies, Lion Panthera leo and Hyaena Crocuta crocuta, T.C. Poulter's of marine mammals, D.Chivers' of primates and J.J. Raemaekers' extensive recordings of the Lar Gibbon, Hylobates lar.