I’ve told this story time and again. I search through my collection of soundscape recordings that feature particular species and I am disappointed to find that most of the time I got too close, the recordings overpowering the average listener who prefers gentle soundscapes over striking closeups.
Such is the case with the Whip-poor-will. I’ve got tons of recordings but nearly all of them are up close. Nice, for sure, but too loud to listen to for long periods. I was beginning to think I didn’t have any really excellent immersive soundscape recordings of Whip-poor-wills, but then I stumbled across the following one that I made in mid-April of 1995 in Kentucky, shortly after the Whip-poor-wills had returned from migration. Take a listen . . . there are lots of birds involved, some perhaps just passing through:
Numerous Whip-poor-wills singing at night in hardwood forest surrounding a small marsh. 15 April 1995, Land Between the Lakes, Kentucky. Recorded by Lang Elliott.
Do you like this recording? It’s busy with Whip-poor-will’s but they are all at a distance and their songs are resonant, well-integrated into their environment. “Gentle Wills,” I have decided to call them because they are so darned easy on the ears! Listen also for the peeping of Spring Peepers, the chirps of Spring Field Crickets, the buzzy, high-pitched song of a Cone-headed Katydid, and water sounds from the marsh.