Birds & Brooks
8 Tracks — 80 minutes total
The songs of birds interweaving with the gurgles and burbles of water … what could be more relaxing, more uplifting in the world of natural sound?
Birds & Brooks features eight recordings from a variety of habitats across North America. From eastern forests to the deserts and mountains of the West, you will enjoy traveling to pristine wild areas graced by some of the most lovely soundscapes on the face of the earth.
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NOTE: This album is also featured in Pure Nature 3D Audio, a FREE app for Apple mobile devices (iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.)
One of our favorite natural areas is the remote Aravaipa Canyon, located in the arid mountains of southeastern Arizona. It is a true oasis-in-the-desert, with a year-round stream that gurgles down a steep-walled canyon. Surrounded by tall cottonwoods, we rest along the creek in cool shade.
A yellow-breasted chat sings disjointed song-phrases in the distance, and yellow warblers add their hurried notes to the chorus. At times, we hear the descending musical whistles of a canyon wren.
We wade into the creek. With cold water rushing over our feet, we feel refreshed and rejuvenated. We have found heaven on earth and want to stay here forever.
May 17, 2017 at 8am. Aravapia Canyon, Nature Conservancy Cobra Ranch, near Klondyke, Arizona. Recorded by Lang Elliott.
In the Ozark region of northern Arkansas flows the spring-fed Buffalo River. Meandering through the mountains, the river passes by countless limestone bluffs and round-stone beaches.The water is pure and clear.
In early May, we camp where a tributary flows into the main river. At dawn, we rise to the songs of birds … tufted titmouse, Kentucky warbler, black-and-white warbler, blue-gray gnatcatcher. We are soothed by the chorus and the scenery. Such extraordinary beauty surrounds us!
May 5, 2011 at 6:30am. Leatherwood Wilderness Area, near Mountain View, Arkansas. Recorded by Lang Elliott.
In early May, we camp next to a small brook in our beloved Shindagin Hollow. On one side there are hardwoods with a shrubby understory. On the other is a steep slope with a dense stand of hemlock trees. We position ourselves next to the creek, with the burbling of water spread across the sound-stage.
A rose-breasted grosbeak sings in the distance, its musical whistles so pleasant to behold. A common yellowthroat gives its telltale witchety-witchety-witchety from nearby shrubs, and songs of black-throated green and magnolia warblers fall from the crowns of the hemlocks.
We sit quietly, enjoying the mix, and then notice the coos of a mourning dove and the raucous jay-jay of a blue jay. And too … the resonant drum of a pileated woodpecker and the faint caws of distant crows. How sweet the sounds of our feathered friends!
May 11, 2016 at 7:30am. Shindagin Hollow State Forest, near Caroline, New York. Recorded by Lang Elliott.
Lost Maples State Natural Area lies in the heart of the Texas Hill Country. During a visit in early March, we rise at dawn and hike along the upper reaches of the Sabinal River, stopping when we hear the low-pitched coos of two white-tipped doves, calling back-and-forth. Common in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, we did not expect to find them this far north.
Crickets trill softly and we delight in the descending whistles of a canyon wren, coming from high on a limestone bluff. A Bewick’s wren and tufted titmouse also sound off. Who is making those metallic calls? Maybe a Carolina wren?
Yet another lovely mix of bird song and the gurgling of water. We are particularly taken by the coos of the doves, so resonant and grounding.
March 7, 2017 at 8:30am. Lost Maples State Natural Area, near Vanderpool, Texas. Recorded by Lang Elliott.
It is dawn in the hills near where we live. Weaving our way through a patch of alders, we arrive at edge of a small brook. A ruffed grouse gives low-pitched thumping drums from somewhere in the thicket.
Songbird melodies mix and merge with the gurgle of the brook. The main singers are veeries … native thrushes with an eerie, downward spiraling song. We hear a robin caroling in the background, and also discern the voices of wood thrush, blue jay and junco.
We breathe-in this glorious symphony, the gurgles and bird songs commingling to produce a harmonious composition.
May 19, 2009 at 6am. Shindagin Hollow, near Caroline, New York. Recorded by Lang Elliott.
We are high in the Cascade Mountains in Oregon. A meltwater brook winds through an open meadow surrounded by forest. Snow-covered peaks shine bright against clear blue sky.
A robin sings, its musical notes echoing off the surrounding hills. A varied thrush gives wheezy whistles and a junco trills. We also hear the flute-songs of a hermit thrush … such a delicate strain. And then a series of odd chattery songs made by a junco, perched near the top of a pine (we’ve never heard one do that before).
The scenery is beautiful, the cool mountain air refreshing. The soundscape is luscious and uplifting. So incredibly fortunate to be here now!
June 21, 2017 at 7am. Cascade Mountains, McKenzie Pass area near Sisters, Oregon. Recorded by Lang Elliott.
During a visit to Olympic National Park, we camp at Ozette Lake, not far from the Pacific Ocean. At dawn, we hike a trail through rainforest and soon come across a small stream, coursing its way through the rolling hills.
The soundscape is superb. Pacific winter wrens sing excited high-pitched songs throughout, their rapid stream of silvery notes blending with the constant gurgle of the brook. A nearby varied thrush adds magic to the mix with clear, buzzy whistles. A pileated woodpecker drums against a hollow tree. At times, we notice the sharp pit-swee of a pacific coast flycatcher.
Such a wonderful and relaxing stream-side soundscape! A true rainforest medley, graced by the voices of several of the most prominent species found in the tall evergreen forests of the Northwest.
June 24, 2017 at 7:30am. Ozette Lake area, Olympic National Park, Washington. Recorded by Lang Elliott.
In southern Indiana, we discover the Charles Deam Wilderness Area and spend the night camped next to the outlet of a large, swampy lake. A huge sycamore tree towers above us, it’s flaky, patterned bark glowing in the semi-darkness.
At the break of day, bullfrogs and green frogs sound off prominently, along with a lone Cope’s gray treefrog. The birds are just beginning to sing. The birds are not easy to differentiate, but we definitely hear the repeated whistles of a distant whip-poor-will and the songs of red-winged blackbirds. Less obvious are songs of willow flycatcher and barn swallow. Are those musical notes from a Baltimore oriole? And who just sang loudly … ah, an indigo bunting!
We close our eyes and focus on the totality of the soundscape. So wide and spacious … a rich and vibrant blend of sound!
May 31, 2016 at 5am. Charles C. Deam Wilderness Area, near Maumee, Indiana. Recorded by Lang Elliott.