Here are some video impressions of a pair of Eastern Bluebirds that I gathered on April 22 at Land Between the Lakes. This is not one of my best videos, but I decided to post it anyway. The soundtrack is a dawn ambience recorded at the same location. Enjoy!
This video illustrates a hard reality concerning capturing bird videos. Because long telephoto lenses are used and the microphone is next to the camera, it is impossible to record subtle sounds such as the fluttering of wings when a bird takes flight. Yet the telephoto lens makes it seem like you’re right next to the bird . . . so one expects to hear those intimate little sounds.
The solution? It’s called “foley” in the movie industry. The subtle sounds have to be added in post (in the studio). For this recording, I would be tempted to take wing flutter recorded under other circumstances and then synch those flutters to the video. I already have a small library of wing flutters that I intend to use in this way. The trick, of course, is to make the end product believable . . . it has to sound real or the audience will catch on.
SOUND RECORDING FROM 1988:
Now for a special treat. Here is my all time favorite recording of a singing bluebird. I made this recording in 1988 at none other than the Land Between the Lakes. I was on my very first recording trip with my friend Ted Mack. This was a lucky catch. It’s not dawn song, but just regular song . . . given strongly and jubilantly by a male perched on a dead stub in a swamp:
Song of an Eastern Bluebird. Recorded by Lang Elliott at Land Between the Lakes, Kentucky 17 May 1988, 7:30 am, during Lang’s first ever recording expedition.