Fields of Expertise:
My work life focuses on nature … I may be variously described as a naturalist, author, speaker, poet, recordist, sound producer, photographer, cinematographer, moviemaker, webmaster, book designer, and book packager.
Bachelors Degree (Biological Science emphasis) – University of Missouri, 1970
Master’s Degree (Animal Behavior and Ecology) – University of Maryland, 1976
I earned my M.S. in Animal Behavior and Ecology from the University of Maryland in 1976, my master’s thesis focusing on the social behavior and foraging ecology of the eastern chipmunk (Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology, Number 265, 1978). After spending over a decade in the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York teaching natural history courses and pursuing other endeavors, I moved to Ithaca, New York, and formed NatureSound Studio in 1989, a small business dedicated to creating products and services featuring the sounds of our native birds, frogs, insects, and mammals.
In the twenty years since forming my business, I have traveled widely gathering sound recordings and have authored numerous audio compact discs and books with CDs that feature the sounds of nature (see list below). My products and recordings have been purchased and enjoyed by at least a quarter million people, and likely many more. I have also become a premiere source of nature sound recordings for use in science and nature museums, nature centers, movies, and variety of third party products.
Notably, I authored, mastered, and provided most of the field recordings for the well-known Stokes Field Guide to Bird Songs, Eastern Region (Time Warner AudioBooks, 1997). This three compact disc set has been the gold-standard reference guide to eastern and central North American bird songs and calls for over a decade, and has trained a generation of avid young birders characterized by their extraordinary ability to recognize birds by their sounds.
Partnering with Houghton Mifflin Company in the late 1990s, I designed, packaged, authored or co-authored, and provided field recordings and photographs for five books accompanied by audio compact dics, including Common Birds and Their Songs (1998—nearly 100,000 sold!), Music of the Birds: A Celebration of Bird Song (1999), The Songs of Wild Birds (2006), The Songs of Insects (2007), and The Frogs and Toads of North America (spring 2009).
I also have also authored six titles with Stackpole Books, all of which include compact discs featuring my sound recordings: Know Your Bird Sounds, Volume 1 (2004), Know Your Bird Sounds, Volume 2 (2004), The Calls of Frogs and Toads (2004), A Guide to Night Sounds (2004), A Guide to Wildlife Sounds (2005), and The Calls of Ducks and Geese (2008).
In addition to my own productions, I recently organized a world-class collection of bird song and call recordings made by himself and several partner-recordists. These recordings are featured on the newly renovated National Audubon Society’s web site, as well as in their mobile application for birds. They are also featured on the Sibley Guide to Birds mobile application and on various iBird applications. In addition, my recordings grace the Smithsonian Field Guide to the Birds (Collins, 2008). The same sound collection is featured in the BirdTunes iPhone app, developed by myself and Harold Mills.
I am also the co-inventor of the SongFinder, a special device that helps birder’s with high frequency hearing loss hear birds again.
After twenty-five years of steady productivity and considerable influence in the field of nature sound education, I have expanded the scope his work to a more general nature study theme. Along these lines, I founded Miracle of Nature, Inc., a non-profit dedicated to celebrating “nature near at hand,” with a focus on our native birds, frogs & toads, insects, reptiles, and mammals. I also launched musicofnature.com, an online source of premium-quality pure nature recordings for personal enjoyment and listening pleasure.
Currently, I am excitedly gathering high definition and 4K video and publishing my videos on this website and others. I am embracing artful cinematography that depicts the wonder and beauty of nature near at hand … focusing not only on life forms, but also on land and sky forms. My video footage will ultimately be combined with pure nature sound recordings to create immersive videos (perhaps even a movie or two) aimed at those who want to get lost in the miracle. A new book is also in the making … one that explores the various ways that we humans connect with nature and develop a lasting and heartfelt appreciation.
Please stay tuned … this bio will be periodically updated as I continue my journey!
Publication List (partial):
Elliott, L. 1978. Social Behavior and Foraging Ecology of the Eastern Chipmunk (Tamias striatus) in the Adirondack Mountains. Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology, Number 265. Washington, D.C., Smithsonian Institution Press.
Elliott, L. (with Donald and Lillian Stokes). 1997. Stokes Field Guide to Bird Songs, Eastern Region. New York, New York: Time Warner AudioBooks.
Elliott, L., Read. M. 1998. Common Birds and Their Songs. Boston, Massachusetts: Houghton Mifflin Company.
Elliott, L. 1999. Music of the Birds: A Celebration of Bird Song. Boston, Massachusetts: Houghton Mifflin Company.
Elliott, L. 2004. Know Your Bird Sounds, Volume 1. Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania: Stackpole Books (this title was originally published in 1991 by NatureSound Studio).
Elliott, L. 2004. Know Your Bird Sounds, Volume 2. Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania: Stackpole Books (this title was originally published in 1991 by NatureSound Studio).
Elliott, L. 2004. The Calls of Frogs and Toads. Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania: Stackpole Books (this title was originally published in 1992 by NatureSound Studio).
Elliott, L. 2004. A Guide to Night Sounds. Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania: Stackpole Books (this title was originally published in 1993 by NatureSound Studio).
Elliott, L. 2004. A Guide to Wildlife Sounds. Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania: Stackpole Books.
Elliott, L. 2006. The Songs of Wild Birds. Boston, Massachusetts: Houghton Mifflin Company.
Elliott, L., Hershberger, W. 2007. The Songs of Insects. Boston, Massachusetts: Houghton Mifflin Company.
Elliott, L., Colver, K. 2008. The Calls of Ducks and Geese. Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania: Stackpole.
Elliott, L., Gerhardt, C. & Davidson, C. 2009. The Frogs and Toads of North America. Boston, Massachusetts: Houghton Mifflin Company.
Note: the above list of references does not include numerous audio compact-disc only titles, a number of which can be viewed at musicofnature.com.