Several years ago, my friend Beth and I visited the Everglades National Park in late May in hopes of videotaping frogs and toads. Unfortunately, it never rained and there was virtually no amphibian activity. So we spent most of time sound recording.
One of my favorite soundscapes from our trip is a predawn recording made at Long Pine Key campground. It is rich with sound. Greenhouse Frogs chirp like crazy from the shrubs surrounding our campsite. High-pitched insects give buzzy trills and Common Nighthawks give nasal peents. Chuck-will’s-widows sound off in the distance, their songs echoing through the pine woods. The most interesting sound is at the bottom end of the frequency spectrum: the booming of the nighthawks. Their airy expulsions (which remind one of “you know what”) occur when they dive toward the ground and then suddenly swoop upward, the air rushing through their spread wings:
Predawn soundscape from Long Pine Key campground in Everglades National Park. 4am, May 28, 2008. Recorded by Lang Elliott.
Though fairly busy, I am captivated by the mixture of sound. In particular, the numerous booms of the nighthawks create a flavor that is unusual among soundscapes.