Twilight Song of the Wood-Pewee

Forest canopy at dawn

This morning at 4:00am, I arrived at my destination and within ten minutes I was standing quietly in mature hardwood forest, awaiting the first twilight notes from an Eastern Wood-Pewee that I had located the day before. At 4:25am, I heard a single, whistled pee-a-wee from perhaps a hundred feet away. I moved through the woods in the direction of the sound …

Reverberant Robin

Grand Tetons by Lang Elliott

While browsing through recordings I gathered in 2011 during an expedition to the Rock Mountain region, I stumbled across a real jewel that I had totally forgotten about. In the foothills of the Grand Tetons near Jackson Lake, Wyoming, I recorded a dawn chorus that features a lone American Robin singing in the distance. The robin’s songs are highly reverberant, due to the mixing of echoes off the surrounding hills … a clear demonstration of how a bird’s song becomes married to its environment …

Whip-poor-will-a-thon

Whip-poor-will  © Wil Hershberger

During my recent recording expedition, I spent the night next to a swamp in Land Between the Lakes, Kentucky. I rose promptly at 4am in the morning, jumped into my car, and headed for a favorite spot around ten miles away. I had only driven a mile or two when I suddenly came upon a Whip-poor-will, its eyes shining red in the middle of the dirt road. He flew as I got out of the car, but soon began singing from the surrounding forest. I grabbed my gear and walked in his direction …

Barred Owl Reunion

Maumee Wetlands

During my recent recording expedition, I spent the night camped next to a lake in the Charles C. Beam Wilderness Area near Maumee, Indiana. At 3am, a Barred Owl began calling nearby and soon another answered in the distance. Then, to my absolute delight, the two met up in the forest and participated in “caterwauling,” an excited exchange of hoots and hollers that I believe to be a celebration of family life. How could they not be having fun?

Hermit Thrush and Drip

hermit thrush habitat

What could be more relaxing than listening to a Hermit Thrush singing after a rain, with water dripping from the trees? Let me know if you are affected by this recording as I am. Such an exquisite soundscape featuring a voice that is at once ethereal, tender, and gently caressing … the voice of solitude, of a shy and hidden bird of secluded forests … “O spheral, spheral … O holy, holy.”

Mockingbird Nightsong

Gibbous Moon

The Northern Mockingbird is well-known for its habit of singing at night. What most folks do not know is that the night-singers are primarily unmated males, which may sing almost continuously both day and night (especially when the moon is bright), in their quest to locate a mate. As luck would have it, I was able to record such a night singer during a recent visit to Virginia …

Owl Reverberations

Moon Scene

Everyone loves owls. On the night of May 20 with the moon nearly full, I drove to a nearby wildlife refuge in search of Gray Treefrogs. The frogs weren’t calling, but at one stop I was treated to an amazing performance by what I presumed to be a “family” of Barred Owls. How lucky can you get? …

Abundant Life

Habitat

Nature’s gift of the day: an avian celebration featuring a dozen or more species, recorded in hardwood forest in upstate New York. I’ve christened it Abundant Life due to its rich variety of bird sounds. Close your eyes and listen. How many species can you identify?

Morning Meditation 5-20-16

Shindagin Hollow habitat

Last night I camped out in Shindagin Hollow. I laid my super-comfy sleeping mat directly on the ground next to a small pond created by beaver. Rising promptly at 4:30am, I engaged my soundscape microphone and then captured a relaxing chorus of bird songs set against the gentle gurgle of water pouring over an old beaver dam …

Veery Singing in the Rain

Cranberry Glades © Thomas R. Fletcher

Having posted an intimate recording of a Veery about a week ago (Very Veery), I found myself thinking about all the other Veery recordings I’ve made through the years, and which one is my favorite. It took but an instant for me to arrive at a conclusion … a Veery singing in the rain at Cranberry Glades Botanical Area in the mountains of West Virginia.

Pin It on Pinterest