Peter Paul Kellogg

Date of
December 13, 1899
Date of
January 31, 1975

Peter Paul Kellogg was professor of ornithology and biological acoustics at Cornell University. Together with Arthur Allen and Albert Brand, he developed new techniques and instruments for recording animal (particularly bird) vocalizations. As director of the Cornell Library of Natural Sounds in the 1950s, he continued to play a role in consolidating bioacoustics as a new discipline and promoting popular understanding of acoustics in the natural world. 

Kellogg was appointed assistant professor of ornithology at Cornell University in 1938 after participating in pioneering efforts to devise new instruments and techniques to record and study birdsong in the wild, together with professor of ornithology Arthur A. Allen and Albert R. Brand. Kellogg devoted most of his attention to establishing better equipment for fieldwork in bioacoustics. With his student Peter Keane, he started using a wartime parabolic shape to record natural sounds (taking inspiration from recording practices in theater and sports reporting). During World War II, Kellogg organized and directed a radar school for Western Electric and was recruited to investigate acoustic problems confronting the US Army in jungle and forested environments in the Panama Canal zone. Later he worked with the Amplifier Corporation of America to develop the first commercially produced field tape recorder, which was marketed in 1952 and was promptly adopted by most investigators in natural history recording, thus greatly expanding the possibilities for work in this area. Thanks to Allen and Kellogg's efforts, Cornell became acknowledged as one of the principal centers of ornithological education and research in the United States, leading among other things to the formal recognition of the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology as a Cornell University institute. Kellogg and the Lab of Ornithology became a prolific publisher of natural sound recordings on gramophone, which helped to subsidize the Laboratory and its activities. 


Key Publications:

  • Fassett, James H., and Peter Paul Kellogg: Music And Bird Songs. Ithaca, NY: Cornell Laboratory Of Ornithology And Interactive Audio, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1953.
  • Allen, Athur A., and Peter Paul Kellogg. Songbird of America in Color, Sound, and Story. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1954.
  • Allen, Athur A., and Peter Paul Kellogg. American Bird Songs. 2 LPs. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Records, 1955.
  • Allen, Athur A., and Peter Paul Kellogg. Voices of the Night: The Calls of 34 Frogs and Toads of the United States and Canada. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Records, 1955.
  • Tall, Joel, and Peter Paul Kellogg. Techniques of Magnetic Recording: With Chapter Seven, Recording Sound in Nature, by Peter Paul Kellogg. New York, NY: Macmillan, 1958.
  • Allen, Athur A., and Peter Paul Kellogg. Bird Songs in Your Garden: A Guide to the Birds and Their Songs Commonly Heard in the Gardens of Eastern United States and Canada. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin, 1963.
  • Allen, Athur A., and Peter Paul Kellogg. Bird Songs of Garden, Woodland, and Meadow. 6 audio discs. Washington, DC: National Geographic Society, 1964.
  • Kellogg, Peter Paul, and Alexander Wetmore. Bird Sounds of Marsh, Upland, and Shore. 6 audio discs. Washington, DC: National Geographic Society, 1965.
  • Reynard, George B., and Peter Paul Kellogg. Caribbean Bird Songs: 54 Species in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Ithaca, NY: Peter Paul Kellogg in cooperation with the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology, 1969.
  • Allen, Athur A., and Peter Paul Kellogg. An Anthology of Over 200 American Bird Songs. 3 audio discs. New York, NY: Murray Hill, 1980.
  • Krutch, Joseph Wood, and Peter Paul Kellogg (eds.). Bird Songs in Literature: Bird Songs and the Poems They Have Inspired, read by Frederick George Marcham. Ashland, OR: Blackstone Audio, 2008.
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