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 portraits of all that I come across. My favorites so far are two species of the genus Geopelia (small, long-tailed doves), both inhabiting dry sclerophyll forests (multi-aged stands of eucalypts with an understory dominated by shrubs, grasses, sedges or bracken fern).
In a dry forested area in Kuranda National Park near Cairns in Queensland, I recorded the gentle, downward inflected coocoo-cookaw of a Bar-shouldered Dove (Geopelia humeralis), set against a pleasing dawn chorus:
Coos of a Bar-shouldered Dove. Recorded by Lang Elliott on 27 September 2012 in Kuranda National Park near Cairns, Queensland, Australia.
In Pillaga Nature Reserve near Coonabarabran in New South Wales, I recorded the coos of a Peaceful Dove (Geopilis striata). Its clear coo-wi-da … coo-wi-da … coo-wi-da is more high-pitched than the Bar-shouldered’s song and has a peaceful quality that I presume gave rise to the species’ common name:
Coos of a Peaceful Dove. Recorded by Lang Elliott on 13 October 2012 in Pilliga Nature Reserve north of Coonabarabran, New South Wales, Australia.
These two recordings are both quite soothing and will lull you into a sublime and blissful state if you but allow them to take hold of your psyche. Such is the power of nature’s music, especially when the gentle coos of doves and pigeons come to bear.
NOTE: Please play these soundscapes at a low level so that you are not distracted by subtle sounds, such as wing noises heard periodically in the second recording. To experience the full dimensional effect, listen using headphones or earbuds.