I'm forwarding a recent news item, because of the huge promise it offers for sound lovers.
Sorry, I didn't remember to paste the actual news item at the last second, and there's apparently no "edit" button for this. DJ.
(From the Physorg science news site.)
> January 18, 2013 by Pat Leonard
> World's largest natural sound archive now online
> The world's largest natural sound library, which is now
> online, includes sounds from 9,000 species, including the
> great-horned owl. Credit: Ruth Baker
> "In terms of speed and the breadth of material now
> accessible to anyone in the world, this is really
> revolutionary," said audio curator Greg Budney. All archived
> analog recordings in the collection, going back to 1929,
> have and can be heard for free online.
> "This is one of the greatest research and conservation
> resources at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology," said Budney.
> The collection contains nearly 150,000 digital audio
> recordings equaling more than 10 terabytes of data with a
> total run time of 7,513 hours. About 9,000 species are
> represented. There's an emphasis on birds, but the
> collection also includes sounds of whales, elephants, frogs,
> primates and more.
Gerrit Vyn, is a multimedia producer on Cornell's Lab of
> Ornithology staff, recording natural sounds in Alaska.
> Credit: Mike Anderson
> "Our audio collection is the largest and the oldest in the
> world," explained Macaulay Library Director Mike Webster.
> "Now, it's also the most accessible. We're working to
> improve search functions and create tools people can use to
> collect recordings and upload them directly to the archive.
> Our goal is to make the Macaulay Library as useful as
> possible for the broadest audience possible."
> The recordings are used by researchers studying many
> questions, as well as by birders trying to fine-tune their
> sound identity skills. The recordings are also used in
> museum exhibits, movies and commercial products such as
> smartphone apps.
> "Now ... the archival team is focusing on new material from
> amateur and professional recordists from around the world to
> really, truly build the collection," Budney said. "Plus,
> it's just plain fun to listen to these sounds. Have you
> heard the sound of a walrus underwater? It's an amazing
> The library of natural sounds includes, for example:
> * a 1929 recording by Cornell Lab founder Arthur Allen of a
> song sparrow: http://bit.ly/V6ZFMG;
> * an ostrich chick still inside its egg:
> * a dawn chorus in tropical Queensland, Australia, bursting
> with warbles, squeals, whistles, booms and hoots:
> * the sound of a lemur with a voice that is part moan, part
> jazz clarinet: http://bit.ly/VYo8l4;
> * the haunting voice of a common loon on an Adirondacks
> lake: http://bit.ly/13ztiY7;
> * the UFO-like call of a bird-of-paradise called the curl-
> crested manucode in New Guinea: http://bit.ly/Xbb1Ko; and
> * the staccato hammering sounds of a walrus under water: