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Carnegie Museums' app lets you wake up to bird sounds

| Wednesday, March 15, 2017, 7:36 p.m.
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Dawn Chorus allows users to be awakened with randomly selected bird calls each morning, or create a custom alarm by choosing from among 20 birds, such as black-capped chickadees and magnolia warblers. The app is free for Apple and Android devices.

The Carnegie Museums' Innovation Studio and the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Oakland have launched a bird alarm clock app that wakes up users with the sounds of bird calls.

Dawn Chorus allows users to be awakened with randomly selected bird calls each morning, or create a custom alarm by choosing from among 20 birds, such as black-capped chickadees and magnolia warblers. The app is free for Apple and Android devices.

“This app is a beautiful way to incorporate nature into your everyday life,” Eric Dorfman, the director of Carnegie Museum of Natural History, said in a statement. “Its utility and artistic design make it appealing to everyone from casual bird watchers to professional conservationists.”

In the app, birds appear in trees to create a song. Many of the birds chosen for the app are species that Carnegie Museum of Natural History scientists have studied or birds that are frequently banded at Powdermill Nature Reserve, the museum's environmental research center in Rector.

All of the birds are native to the northeastern United States. Museum scientists created cards with information about the birds to help users learn more about them.

Ashley Cecil, the museum's artist in residence in 2016, contributed artwork to the app, and local bird photographer Steve Gosser allowed the museum to use his photos. The bird sounds were acquired from the Macaulay Library at Cornell University.

Dawn Chorus has already been downloaded about 3,000 times.

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