Brief video showing a Common Coqui, Eleutherodactylus coqui, calling. © Lang Elliott.

Just for fun, I’ve been exploring my Coqui recordings from my trip to Puerto Rico in March of 2013 (I can’t help but wonder how things have changed as a result of Hurricane Maria). As many of you already know, the Puerto Rican or Common Coqui (Eleutherodactylus coqui) is a small tropical frog that is widespread throughout the island (along with a handful of other species in the genus), and that has a very recognizable breeding call that rises in pitch and sounds like a whistled CO-KEE!

Coqui on cabin wall © Lang ElliottMy friend Bob McGuire accompanied me on the trip and we spent the first night in a birder’s lodge along the south boundary of El Yunque National Forest, which is now closed due to hurricane damage. I had hoped to record right around the lodge, but when dusk arrived the chorus was so overwhelming that I grabbed my gear, walked up a paved road into the forest, and then hiked a rugged foot-trail that eventually led me to the top of the mountain. As I reached the higher altitudes in the middle of the night, the chorus began to thin-out and in the wee hours of the morning I captured what I consider to be the “jewels” of our trip … binaural soundscapes that pleased my ear and drew me into a magical, transformative listening experience.

El Yunque Mountain Scene © Lang Elliott

Below are several of my favorite soundscapes from that special night on the mountain, chosen for their easy-listening and mesmerizing qualities. I trust that you will enjoy them. Please don’t play them too loudly, and be aware that these are spacious binaural 3D soundscapes, so listen using headphones if at all possible:

Owl Visitation – This recording features perhaps two different species of Coqui frogs, along with the soft trills of a Puerto Rican Screech Owl.

Tinkler Chorus – One of my favorites that includes the musical, tinkling notes of what I presume to be a different species of Coqui. If anybody knows which species, please let me know!

Forest Stream – This relaxing pre-dawn chorus was recorded next to a small stream and includes splats caused by drip from the canopy hitting leaves on the ground.

Classic Coqui – Recorded in the middle of the night, this laid-back chorus features the classic CO-KEE calls of several Common Coquis Eleutherodactylus coqui. It is certainly more engaging than the three recordings featured above and I’ve included it here so that you have a solid example of the classic calls.

El Yunque Moonscape © Lang Elliott

So, there you have it … Coqui Magic Nightscapes, gathered by yours truly in the dark of the night, high in El Yunque National Forest in Puerto Rico in March of 2013. Let me know what you think of them. Do they transport you into wild nature and hypnotize you with their soothing melodies, or do they send you running in the opposite direction, cursing the onslaught of sound (not unreasonable if you live in Hawaii where they have become a pest because of their loud choruses).

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