The DAWN CHORUS app is now available for free for iOS and Android
(currently available from Android version 8/iOS version 11 or higher) .
(29.7.2021) The first results of the scientific collection phase of the Citizen Science and Arts project DAWN CHORUS 2021 by BIOTOPIA and the Stiftung Kunst und Natur are in! Once again, the project has succeeded in combining nature experience and species conservation in an innovative way. With the new smartphone app, more than 3,400 bird song recordings from all over the world have already been uploaded this year (as of July). We continue to welcome uploads! More at: www.dawn-chorus.org.
With a new free app, DAWN CHORUS invites people worldwide to record and share the morning bird concert, making an important contribution to biodiversity research. An integrated new media art feature also allows people to add an artistic dimension to their own experience of nature.
For the second time, the Citizen Science and Arts project DAWN CHORUS is calling on people around the world to record and share the morning birdsong on their doorstep from May 1 to 31. The response to the first collaborative project initiated in May 2020 - in the exceptional situation of the first Corona Lockdown - by BIOTOPIA - Natural History Museum of Bavaria and the Foundation Art and Nature (formerly Nantesbuch Foundation) was enormous: more than 4,000 bird song files were uploaded from 50 countries via the portal www.dawn-chorus.org within short time, the project gained more than 65,000 followers on social media, international coverage and an award in the framework of the "UN Decade of Biological Diversity".
Birds are considered important indicators of changes in various habitats. During the famous morning chorus, many birds are highly active vocally. DAWN CHORUS 2020 took advantage of the unusual silence of the first lockdown - the reduction of human-generated noise such as airplane and road traffic - and motivated people around the world to listen to birds in their nearby environment early in the morning, record their songs with their smartphones and make them heard by uploading them to the DAWN CHORUS website. The data they collected together has since been anchored in a digital global sound map, where the many bird songs from all over the world can be discovered and heard. They have also been incorporated into a valuable scientific data collection, from which initial research questions have already been addressed in collaboration with the Max Planck Society and other scientific institutions. The collection was also made available to the European Commission's Global Coalition "United for #Biodiversity", which mobilizes international institutions to raise their voices on the global environmental crisis ahead of the UN Biodiversity Conference (COP15) in 2021.
Now, it is time to consolidate and expand this commitment. Every year in May, when the birds herald the breeding season with their mating songs, the data collection is to be renewed and expanded in order to be able to investigate developments in species diversity and habitats, as well as the effects of noise pollution in comparative analyses.
DAWN CHORUS 2021 would like to motivate people once again to actively engage with nature and develop an individual awareness of how biodiversity is represented in their immediate surroundings. It is well known that birds in the vicinity of airports start their morning call earlier. Are there also changes in the number and type of bird songs in the city park next door, at bodies of water or on the village street? Which birds are singing where? The hoped-for goal of DAWN CHORUS 2021 is an increased participation of the population with as many participants as possible repeating their recordings from last year at the same place and day at the same time.
The scientific goal of Dawn Chorus is to document, over several years, the morning bird concert at different locations. Using this data, we can detect the singing species present and track their occurrence over years. In this way, we can explore where species are declining or disappearing in different habitats (including the city), as well as draw conclusions about the causes. Furthermore, we can determine which or how many human influences are present, e.g. traffic noise, and how these affect the birds' singing behavior.
This year's funding from the German Federal Cultural Foundation enabled DAWN CHORUS 2021 to develop a new type of free service app to complement and expand the existing web platform. The intuitive DAWN CHORUS app not only facilitates the recording and uploading process, the standardized data collection through app use also decisively improves the quality of the uploads for their scientific evaluation. In the future, automatic recognition of bird calls by machine learning will be integrated. To prepare this further development, relevant scientists from the field of artificial intelligence and machine learning will be brought together.
A newly developed art feature opens up another dimension in DAWN CHORUS 2021: Sonic Feather, created by multimedia artists Mika Johnson and Marcel Karnapke, allows participants to draw with their own recorded bird calls - using them as "acoustic ink" - and create unusual as well as multi-layered individual media artworks that can subsequently be shared in the community networks. The engagement with nature, with the experience of the morning bird concert, thus finds an important intensification and sustainable anchoring on a further, artistic level.
DAWN CHORUS 2021, in conjunction with the new service app, as an interactive, community-based Citizen Science and Arts project, strengthens people's individual access to nature worldwide, brings awareness to its endangerment, and enables both a scientific and a personal artistic contribution from each individual.
BIOTOPIA and the Chair of Didactics of Biology at LMU have designed interactive teaching materials to make participation in the Dawn Chorus project even more exciting for schoolchildren. In this way, children can get to know the local bird population better in a playful way and contribute to a worldwide Citizen Science project with their own recordings. All teaching materials are freely accessible without registration on the website of the project "BISA-Biodiversität im Schulalltag".
On the 50th anniversary of International Earth Day, BIOTOPIA's founding director Prof. Michael John Gorman interviewed soundscape ecologist Dr. Bernie Krause
They talked aboutthe importance of experiencing biodiversity through the ears, and how tuning into the dawn chorus can alert us to the consequences of climate change, urbanization and deforestation.
Imagefilm DAWN CHORUS 2020 [in German]
In the film, the initiators experience a polyphonic dawn full of birdsong in the nature of Nantesbuch and give insight into the idea, creation and work of the DAWN CHORUS project.
Dr. Bernie Krause, Bioakustiker
Prof. Dr. Manfred Gahr, Direktor, Max-Planck-Institut für Ornithologie, Seewiesen