Have you ever recorded birds in Mexico?

By Drew Weber November 20, 2016

Calandria Caperuza Negra (Black-cowled Oriole) por Ian Davies / Macaulay Library

Do you have a microphone that has witnessed the call of the Rufous Sabrewing, a Belding’s Yellowthroat’s bewitching song, or the haunting refrain of a singing Aztec Thrush? If so, we need your help! The Merlin Bird ID app is excited to partner with CONABIO to bring Merlin’s free bird identification resources to all of Mexico! There are a few species that still need audio for the app expansion; please see the list below to see if you can make a difference.

The Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology has an extensive collection of recordings from Mexico, dating back to the pioneering efforts of L. Irby Davis in the 1950s. But, there are still a few species that have eluded the microphones of ML contributors:

  • Lesser Swallow-tailed Swift
  • Green-breasted Mango
  • Short-crested Coquette
  • Slender Sheartail
  • Lovely Cotinga
  • Black-capped Siskin

In other cases, the Macaulay Library has several recordings of a species, but is missing a specific sound from that bird’s repertoire. See the list at the bottom of the article for those needs.

Can you contribute?

If you have any recordings of these target sounds, you can upload your recordings to an eBird checklist for potential use in Merlin. Learn how to upload recordings here. If you’re a sound recordist who has never used eBird before, there are also instructions on how to create an eBird checklist specifically for uploading sound recordings.

We’re excited to bring Merlin to the Neotropics, and we appreciate your help in providing the best possible sound recordings for the Mexico Merlin app! If you don’t have audio to contribute, we are also looking for photos of the birds of Mexico. The best images will be used in Merlin galleries, but all images will be used to help train Merlin’s photo ID system to identify Mexican birds, and entering checklists into eBird also sharpens Merlin’s ability to know what species are likely.  We appreciate everything you do to make this project possible.

Submit your audio recordings today!


The Macaulay Library has several recordings of a species, but is missing a specific sound from that bird’s repertoire. Below are these specific target sounds:

  • Ruddy Crake Call
  • Russet-naped Wood-Rail Call
  • Uniform Crake Call
  • Central American Pygmy-Owl Call
  • Fulvous Owl Call
  • Mexican Hermit Call
  • Stripe-throated Hermit Call
  • Black-crested Coquette Song
  • Plain-capped Starthroat Song
  • Sparkling-tailed Hummingbird Call
  • Golden-crowned Emerald song
  • Dusky Hummingbird Song
  • Long-tailed Sabrewing Call
  • Rufous Sabrewing Song
  • Mexican Woodnymph Song
  • Olivaceous Woodcreeper Call
  • Slaty Vireo Call
  • Yucatan Vireo Call
  • Rufous-browed Peppershrike Call
  • Black-capped Swallow Song
  • Nightingale Wren Call
  • Aztec Thrush Song
  • Ocellated Thrasher Call
  • Cozumel Thrasher Call
  • Socorro Mockingbird Song
  • Belding’s Yellowthroat Song
  • Shining Honeycreeper Call
  • Green Honeycreeper Song
  • Guadalupe Junco Call
  • Black-vented Oriole Song
  • Black-cowled Oriole Song
  • Black-backed Oriole Song