Wednesday, January 28, 2009

ENV: What science gives, science takes away

There's nothing quite like good science!

First the article --

Web site posts recordings of Guam's lost bird species
By Bryan C. Sualog • Pacific Daily News • January 25, 2009

Guampedia has added recordings of Guam's native birds to its Web site for everyone to hear.

The files recently were added to the series on Guam's Native Forest Birds section, said Guampedia Managing Editor Shannon Murphy.

Guampedia was given the recordings, made by the Navy in the 1950s, by the U.S. National Park Service. The Navy recorded the birds in the 1950s before the brown tree snake decimated the bird population, she said. "Now the jungles are silent."

The recordings were done near Ritidian with listening devices originally intended to find spies, she said.

"Now everyone can hear Guam's native birds, though most of them are extinct or only surviving in captivity," she said.

And then the first comment [this morning] in the comments section [Doug Pratt is a superb bird artist and a highly respected ornithological authority on the birds of Guam]

This article is correct that bird recordings are available on Guampedia, but it is wrong about nearly everything else. These are recordings made by me on Guam and Saipan in the 1970s blended together to imitate the possible sound of Guam's pre-human forests. They are played regularly in the visitor center of the Guam National Wildlife Refuge, which must have been the source. The bird sounds are not identified to species in Guampedia. The Navy/spy story is nice, but it's fiction. -Doug Pratt

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