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Sound recordings of courtship displays of Allen's (Selasphorus sasin), Rufous (S. rufus), and Hybrid (S. sasin x S. rufus) hummingbirds recorded between 2014 and 2021 in California, Oregon, and Alaska

Cite this dataset

Clark, Chris; Myers, Brian; Rankin, David (2022). Sound recordings of courtship displays of Allen's (Selasphorus sasin), Rufous (S. rufus), and Hybrid (S. sasin x S. rufus) hummingbirds recorded between 2014 and 2021 in California, Oregon, and Alaska [Dataset]. Dryad.


These are sound recordings of courtship displays that are associated with the 386 individual Selasphorus hummingbirds that are the focus of analyses presented in Myers et al 2022. A subset of these birds were also used in Myers et al. (2019), and 159 of them have been deposited as specimens in the San Diego State University Museum of Biodiversity or the San Diego Natural History Museum.  Many recordings will include a verbal tag from CJC, BMM or DTR stating relevant recording conditions (e.g. date, locality). Each subfolder contains the recordings for 1 bird. Unfortunately, recordings for 15 birds were lost in a hard-drive crash.  Moreover, we recorded many additional birds which we were thereafter unable to catch. Some of those not-analyzed birds are also included here, even though they were not included in the associated studies, since we lacked a DNA sample, morphometrics, or feathers.


Sound recordings of courtship displays of wild hummingbirds including Allen's (Selasphorus sasin), Rufous (Selasphrous rufus) and their hybirds (Selasphorus sasin x Selasphorus rufus). Sound recordings have been placed in folders by recording year, then according to a field identifier (such as a field ID, or a locality). All files are the original .wav.  Generally the recordings are un-cropped, except in rare instances in which the recorder was accidentally left running for a long time.

The full dataset has been split into 13 different zipped folders: "2014", "2015", "hybrid localities 2016-2018" (6 parts), "Allen's localities 2016-2018", "Rufous localities 2016-2018", "2019 Brian" "2019 David and Chris" and "2021". 

Please refer to Myers et al 2022 for field recording methods. 

Usage notes

The recordings are 16 or 24 bit .wav files, recorded at 44.1, 48, or 96 kHz. CJC generally recorded with a Sound Devices 702 recorder and a Telinga pro parabola with a Sennheiser MKH 20 microphone. BMM recorded with combinations of a Sennheiser MKH 70 shotgun microphone, an Audio-Technica AT875R shotgun microphone, a Tascam DR-05 portable recorder, a Tascam DR-60DmkII audio recorder. DTR recorded with any of the above. CJC recordings from Ketchikan, Alaska in 2018 also include voice of Alan Brelsford, while BMM recordings from 2018 include Zachary Williams and in 2019 include voice of Kevin Burns.

Some sub-folders contain recordings as initially named by the recorder (name is unedited); others the file name has been edited (but retains original name given by the recorder). For birds only identified by a field ID, an associated table "bird locality & lookup table.xls" should provide enough information to associate each individual folder with the "Main ID" provided in the paper.  Also note that, occasionally, some display bouts will span multiple recordings, if (for example) the 'rec' button on a recorder got pressed multiple times during a display bout. 

Note that, as the recordings were verbally annotated in real time, it was somewhat common for the recordist mis-speak in the recorded annotations. This was particularly true for repetitions pendulum display counts, because it was easy to mis-count the number of pendulum displays in real-time.  Therefore the digitized sequences reflect our analysis of the sounds themselves rather than the verbatim verbal tag. Also note: the definitions of behaviors are as given in Myers et al 2022. See the supplemental materials, which includes figure S1 that shows example sequences with multiple possible mappings from sounds onto defined behaviors.  Allen's type dives begin with what sounds like a pendulum display (the 'incorporated pendulum') but was coded as part of the dive, and not a pendulum. 


National Science Foundation, Award: IOS-1656867

National Science Foundation, Award: IOS-1656708