Abundant Life


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.

Very Veery

Veery Habitat © Lang Elliott

Many mornings I am unable to even get a half-usable recording, but this morning I struck gold. You’re sure to enjoy this intimate recording of the spiraling flute-like song of a Veery …

Fountain of Bobolinks

Bobolink Habitat photo

On this beautiful spring day, I have just one thing to say … I am so incredibly fortunate to live in an area where I can enjoy the bubbling “song-fantasias” of Bobolinks, ecstatic voices from another world! They seem a gift from heaven, a unique jewel among our native birds. Enjoy this engaging recording of four males perched near one another, spouting songs like a fountain spraying water upwards and outwards, as if partaking in a festive reunion …

Catbird Singing at the Break of Day

Ladyslipper Pond

I delight in gathering sound portraits of common species, with emphasis on depicting each bird dimensionally “in its habitat,” embedded within a pleasant mix of other nature sounds. Thus, you can imagine my delight when I encountered a Gray Catbird singing in a multiflora rose shrub next to the overflow of my beloved Ladyslipper Pond …

Meadow After Rain

Meadow After Rain © Lang Elliott

Rising once again at 4am, I gobbled down some cereal and then rushed off to meet with my friend Melissa Groo, a talented wildlife photographer who lives along the upper reaches of Shindagin Hollow. We drove down into the hollow then up again to a beautiful wet meadow at the edge of the forest. Arriving at about 5:10am, just as the birds were beginning to sing, I quickly set my soundscape microphone in the middle of the field …


Ovenbird © Lang Elliott

I rose at 4 am this morning so that I could be present in the forest when the first bird sang. I drove to a location in the hills above Shindagin Hollow and set my soundscape microphone next to the road. Water trickled softly down a drainage ditch. Otherwise it was completely quiet. Then the birds began to sing …

Wren Remembrance

Winter Wren and habitat © Lang Elliott

My favorite wren is without doubt the Winter Wren. It’s rambling, silvery song delights the ear and is quite unlike the song of any other wren. Yesterday, when I recorded the Wood Thrush in Shindagin Hollow with Beth Bannister, we reminisced about our experience ten years prior recording a Winter Wren, also in early May and almost at the same location …

Wood Thrush Return

habitat with wood thrush © Lang Elliott

Yesterday I rose early to hear the fluting of a Wood Thrush, but didn’t hear a peep. This morning, as if by magic, the songs of thrushes rained down upon the forest floor, glittering like stardust sprinkled upon the greening landscape. How enchanting and reassuring … the Wood Thrushes have once again returned!

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