Magpie Composition

A true signature sound of Australia is the gurgling, bubbling melody of the Australian Magpie, a large black-and-white butcherbird of open country as well as forest edges and clearings. During our recent trip to New England National Park, I was very fortunate to record the contagious singing of a group, in farm country just outside the … [Read more...]

Peaceful Doves

The world over, members of the dove and pigeon family (Columbidae, with over 300 species) produce musical coos that fall in the mid to low frequency range, adding a pleasant bottom end to natural soundscapes that otherwise might be too shrill for the average listener. Australia is the home of 18 species and I've been busy gathering sound … [Read more...]

Butcherbird Lullaby

Just before leaving Queensland, I managed to snag a really nice recording of one of my favorite rainforest birds: the Black Butcherbird. Cousin of the well-known Pied Butcherbird, a fabulous songster in his own right, the Black Butcherbird has a resonant, musical song that can be heard at long distances, even in dense forest. Here is a sample of my … [Read more...]

Avian Satori

In Japanese Buddhism, the word "satori" refers to "an awakening," more particularly a spiritual awakening that often happens suddenly. In the bird world, especially among temperate zone songbirds, each and every dawn during the breeding season begets an "avian satori," a vocal awakening and celebration that occurs in the magical "twilight … [Read more...]

Shindagin Hollow Overlook

Of the many soundscape impressions I've gathered in Shindagin Hollow, this morning's dawn chorus ranks among the best. For me, it was magical indeed, as I sat in the still darkness at the top of an overlook, immersed in listening as the twittering of the birds gradually expanded with the light. Though late in the season for bird song, there is … [Read more...]

Snipewinnow Marsh

In late May 2005, Ted Mack and I visited Riding Mountain National Park in Manitoba. The park is an island of wilderness rising out of the prairie landscape, where habitats of eastern, western and northern Canada meet and mingle into a pattern of forest, grassland, hill and valley. In dawn's early light, Ted and I converged upon a huge marshy … [Read more...]

Night Squeals

During my first recording expedition to Florida in 1988, my buddy Ted and I camped in a low area next to a small river and were delighted when a pair of Barred Owls paid us a visit in the dark of the night. We managed to get some nice recordings as they hooted back-and-forth in a pine tree overhead, but those were the days before we began using … [Read more...]

Words Cannot Describe

Words cannot adequately describe the following recording—to even try to put words to it would mute its brilliance, dampen its magic. I only ask that you relax into this soundscape, that you sink your being into this unbelievable mix of sounds. Rest assured there are no tricks here, no layering of recordings. This sound-event really did happen, … [Read more...]

Pine Woods Medley

Spring is coming to the southern pine woods . . . perhaps it has already arrived! With over two feet of snow on the ground here in Ithaca, New York, it is difficult for me to imagine that spring is just around the corner. Wanting to taste the flavor of the pine woods soundscape, I searched my collection and came up with a pleasing recording from … [Read more...]

Turkey Haunt

In the spring of 2000, I embarked on a quest to record dawn choruses and other nature soundscapes, having in mind that I would produce a series of relaxing and meditative CDs (which I am finally going to pull off, over ten years later!). My trip lasted nearly two months and was fraught with horrible weather. Wherever I went there was either high … [Read more...]