Northern Mockingbird

Many birds mimic others, In North America the Northern Mockingbird is the champion of all. I have recorded many birds that mimic others including the Lyrebird in Australia, African Greys and Macaws but the sound of the Northern Mockingbird in the morning dawn chorus has a special feel to it as night turns to dawn.

The great Mimickers

Northern Mockingbird

GEEK NOTES
Recorder: SD 722
Microphones: SASS MKH 20/20
Tripod mounted
Sample rate: 44.1k 24 bit
Location: Big Bend NP. Texas.
Weather: Partly Cloudy
Temp 75f
2005-04-05
Recordist: Martyn Stewart

Cliff Swallow

As summer passes for another year, these little fellows go with it. Off to more southern warmer parts where the insects are abundant. This is the sound of one individual making a “rubbing on a balloon” sound while clinging to the side of a cliff-face. I was there at the right time with the right gear, so to speak. The song is lacking variety and somewhat interest but this captures what i wanted none-the-less.. (wow that rhymed)


This bird averages 13 cm (5 inches) long with a tiny bill. The adult Cliff Swallow has an iridescent blue back and crown, brown wings and tail, and buff rump. The nape and forehead are white. The underparts are white except for a red face. The tail is square-ended.
Young birds are essentially brown above and whitish below, except for the buff rump and dark face. The only confusion species is the closely related Cave Swallow, which is richer in colour and has a cinnamon rump and forehead.
Like all swallows and martins, Cliff Swallows subsist primarily on a diet of insects which are caught in flight. (Info Wikipedia)





GEEK NOTES

Recorder: SD 722
Microphone: Telinga DAT
Sample/Bitrate: 44.1k 24 bit
Location: Portal, Arizona
Recordist: Martyn Stewart
Weather: Partly Cloudy
Temp: 68f


© martyn stewart 2010

Wood Ducks galore

This morning I had the pleasure of meeting Bob Kothenbeutel as his home in Woodinville, WA.
Every September the wood ducks return to his back yard pond – probably because he provides feed for them twice a day (mixture of whole wheat and gamebird pellets). On Sept. first there were 6 but the number has grown to 125 -150! They stream in in small groups just as it begins to get light in the morning, eat their breakfast, lounge around all day and then leave in the evening after their dinner. They never get very tame and always flush when he takes out the feed. After circling a few times they come raining back to the pond in a fashion that makes it too hard to count them. It is quite a spectacle. Even though they are devouring 150 lbs of feed each week he never gets tired of watching them. They even invade his bird feeder which is near his deck, and some have taken a liking to suet. There is a large number of juveniles and the mature drakes are now in full breeding plumage.

This is a recording from first light this morning starting from around 07:00am.

It is always best to let the player buffer beforehand….


copyright Mike Hamilton

Wood Duck


GEEK NOTES
Recorder: SD 722
Microphones: MKH 40/30
Sample/bitrate: 44.1k 24 bit
Tripod mounted
Rycote windjammer
Species:
Wood duck
Gadwall
Trumpeter swan
American crow
Mallard
Weather:Partly cloudy
Temp: 54f
Recordist: Martyn Stewart

Vaux’s swifts

The vaux’s swift is found mainly on the west of North America, measuring around 4.5″ around this time of year they can be found in mass flocks at night as they gather to roost. The swift has found an ideal roosting spot in man made chimneys,

© Kevin Mack

4.5\

Monroe WA has just that, you can get over 26,000 of these birds roosting in the chimney on occasions all tightly snugged together. These birds are on their migratory path to Central America and Venezuela and stop off on the way here in Monroe. The sound and video that follows are from the night of September 12th, The night was partly cloudy and cool but it still brought out a sizable flock for us to witness.


Thank you to Kevin Mack for the picture and Pilchuck Audubon for the use of some video in the chimney.

The following audio can be listened to by clicking your mouse anywhere along the wave player, select any area on the player with your mouse.

Geek notes
Vaux swifts monroe

Location: Monroe
Date: 2010-09-12
Time:
State: WA

Description: the migration of vaux swifts roosting in a chimney stack

Habitat: City
VoxType: calls
Category: soundscape

Recorder: SD 788t
Mics: sennheiser mkh 40/30-Telinga DAT
Sample rate: 44.1k 24 bit
Microphone pattern: MS stereo
Take#  

Anthrophony: constant traffic
Geophony:
Biophony: Vaux swift

Weather: overcast
Temp: 66f
Humidity: 81%
Wind: 4mph
Barometer: 
Elevation:
GPS: N47.51’9″,W121.58’48 

Recordist: Martyn Stewart

Notes: inserted -30 db tone at beginning of the recording/ Mic suspension with Rycote windjammer and gitzo tripod/

The Ovenbird

This is one of those birds that when you record it, you think the gain control is not working on your recorder until you find out the bird uses most of its energy at the end of the song!
This is such a powerful singer for one so little..
The main song of the Ovenbird is a series of strident, relatively low-pitched, bisyallabic motives repeated without pause about eight times and increasing in volume.
This was recorded in the north woods while walking with the black bears there. All around you are these amazing little birds singing their hearts out.

Jay Jay up a tree for a change



The following audio player shows various wave patterns that you can select at any time by clicking the mouse on any part of the player to select the song.
Please let the whole song buffer first.

Recordist: Martyn Stewart
Recorder: SD 788T
Microphone: Telinga stereo DAT
Location: Ely, North Woods. MN

Golden-crowned sparrow

This is a bird you can’t get away from in the Boreal forests. This song was recorded on Katmai National Park. You could hear this song from morning to night.

Golden crowned sparrow


©martyn stewart

Geek Notes:
Microphone: Telinga DAT
Recorder: SD 722
Sample rate: 44.1k 24 bit
Recordist: Martyn Stewart
Location: Katmai NP. Alaska

White-throated sparrow

Also in the north woods you find the beautiful sounds of the white-throated sparrow.
There are at least two distinct songs sung by this species. One consists of an initial note, followed by three or so repeated notes at an interval of about a major third above. The second song consists of an initial note, a second a whole step lower, and a third note, repeated 2-3 times, about a minor third below that. This second song is commonly described by use of mnemonics with the cadence of “Po-or Sam Peabody, Peabody, Peabody” (or “O-oh sweet Canada, Canada, Canada”) The rhythm is very regular, and the timbre could be described as pinched. These musical intervals are only approximate; to a human ear the song often sounds out of tune. The repeated note will often change in pitch very slightly, contributing to this effect.
The White-throated Sparrow also has at least two calls, in addition to its song. This is a bird that was recorded deep into the North Woods of Minnesota.

White Throated Sparrow taken by Steve Listengart in Rhode Island

Geek notes
State: Minnesota 

Description: Species recording

Habitat: wood/mixed
VoxType: Dawn
Category: soundscape

Recorder: SD 722
Mics: Telinga DAT
Sample rate: 44.1k 24 bit
Microphone pattern: Omni stereo
Take#  29

Anthrophony: cars on the main 169 HWY/

Geophony: wind in trees

Biophony: white-throated sparrow/red squirrel/ovenbird/

Weather: clear
Temp: 85f
Humidity: 65%
Wind: 3 mph
Barometer:  1009.6
Elevation: 223 ft
GPS: N.47.81717 W 092.16361

Recordist: Martyn Stewart

The White-throated sparrow of the North Woods

The white-throated sparrow is the distintive “song of the north woods. It is a large sparrow with a prominent bill. You often find these sparrows close to the ground and in flocks around ponds, forest edges and regrowth.
There are at least two distinct songs sung by this species. One consists of an initial note, followed by three or so repeated notes at an interval of about a major third above. The second song consists of an initial note, a second a whole step lower, and a third note, repeated 2-3 times, about a minor third below that. This second song is commonly described by use of mnemonics with the cadence of “Po-or Sam Peabody, Peabody, Peabody” (or “O-oh sweet Canada, Canada, Canada”) The rhythm is very regular, and the timbre could be described as pinched. These musical intervals are only approximate; to a human ear the song often sounds out of tune. The repeated note will often change in pitch very slightly, contributing to this effect.
The White-throated Sparrow also has at least two calls, in addition to its song. (source wikipedia)

Bear cubs in the North Woods


Copyright: martyn stewart
Geek notes from original recording.Date: 2010-07-12
Time: 17:57
State: Minnesota 

Description: afternoon soundscape

Habitat: wood/mixed
VoxType: afternoon
Category: soundscape

Recorder: SD 722
Mics: sennheiser mkh 40/30
Sample rate: 44.1k 24 bit
Microphone pattern: MS stereo
Take#  08

Anthrophony: cars on the main 169 HWY/39:25 car passes by the microphone/47:00 chain saw or motorbike/54:06 ATV passes by/1:05 truck passes close to the mics/

Geophony: wind in trees

Biophony: common raven/common yellowthroat/white throated sparrow/willow flycatcher/black-capped chickadee/chipping sparrow/blue jay/unknown/11:53 something walking through the grass/13:51 bee/16:37 white-throated sparrow/20:03 white-throated sparrow part song/common raven 21:18/55;04 flies/northern flicker/golden-crowned sparrow/veery/bumble bee/1:02 white-throated sparrow/blue jay/American robin/

Weather: clear
Temp: 85f
Humidity: 65%
Wind: 3 mph
Barometer:  1009.6
Elevation: 223 ft
GPS: N.47.81717 W 092.16361

Recordist: Martyn Stewart

Notes: inserted -30 db tone at beginning of the recording/ Mic suspension with Rycote windjammer and gitzo tripod/

Leach’s storm petrel

The sounds of the night are intriguing on seabird islands. This is a short recording of a few Leach’s storm petrels returning to their burrows to feed their partners and chicks.
One of the very small tube-noses, these delightful birds make a lot of noise for their size. These sounds also include, Laughing gull and the endangered Roseate Tern.

Leach's storm petrel

Eastern Egg Rock

Atlantic puffins had nearly vanished from the Maine coast until a young biologist defied conventional wisdom to lure them home.
I was invited to Eastern Egg rock island to record the atlantic puffin. Steve Kress who had introduced these birds back in 1973 has re-established this island to now include over 200 breading pairs of puffins.This recording you can hear one of the puffins in its burrow along with common tern, arctic tern, laughing gull and the endangered Roseate Tern

The re-introduced Atlantic Puffin


©martyn stewart

Geek Notes (from original recording)
Dawn recording egg rock

Location: Egg rock island
Date: 2010-06-21
Time: 05:34
State: Maine

Description: seabird colony

Habitat: island
VoxType: soundscape
Category: species recordings

Recorder: SD 722
Mics: sennheiser mkh 40/30
Sample rate: 44.1k 24 bit
Microphone pattern: MS stereo
Take# 7

Anthrophony: boats/ 8:09 fishing boat/30:00 constant drone of fishing boat/

Geophony: ocean waves hitting rocks/thunder

Biophony: laughing gull/Roseate Tern/arctic tern/3:22 Atlantic puffin/25:00 puffin/34:18 puffin lands on microphones/45:00 increase in DB for black guillemot/

Weather: partly cloudy
Temp: 61f
Humidity:80%
Wind: calm
Barometer: 1012mb
Elevation: 14ft
GPS: N.43.86173,W069.38254

Recordist: Martyn Stewart

Notes: inserted -30 db tone at beginning of the recording/ set rotary pots to 57.9 db/Mic suspension with Rycote windjammer and gitzo tripod/