Here is a brief video clip of a Common Coqui singing. Note how he warms up with single low-pitched notes before launching into his full call: ko … ko … ko … ko-keee … ko-keee … ko-keee … I hope you like my coqui video. This was the only male I found who lent himself well to being videotaped. Please let me know what you think of him!
What a shocking change … in a matter of just six hours we transition from a humid tropical rainforest biome with temperatures in the high 80s (F) to a late winter north temperate snow-covered landscape with temperatures in the 30s. This seems almost incongrous, with coquis still sounding off in my head as a frigid breeze blows against my face. How can this be?
While visiting dry tropical scrubland near Guanica on the southwest coast of Puerto Rico, we recorded the Puerto Rican Nightjar, singing at dusk. Bob got some amazing closeups and I recorded a relaxing soundscape that features two nightjars, along with the eveloping whoosh of ocean waves washing into the shoreline about a quarter-mile away.
In the wee hours of morning, I enjoyed a pristine nighttime rainforest experience. The frog and insect chorus mellowed with cooling temperatures, and I spent several hours looking for pleasing mixtures of sounds that would convey the magic that I heard and felt. Periodically, I would lay down on the trail, shut my eyes, and listen, mesmerized and entranced by the beautiful, dreamy chorus.
I’m finally breaking free with a weeklong journey to Puerto Rico, accompanied by fellow recordist Bob McGuire. My personal goal is to record soundscapes featuring a tiny tropical frog called the Coqui, the “official mascot” of the Puerto Rican culture. Why is this frog called “Coqui”? Because its sweet call, given from dusk til dawn, sounds very much like co-qui, co-qui, coq-qui …
Eastern Screech-owls have an amazing array of sounds that can be quite scary when heard in the middle of the night. This post features several of the sounds that these little owls make, along with descriptions of what they may mean.
My last post featured the duetting of a pair of Grey Butcherbirds. Below is another recording, made at dusk in dry forest, that includes prominent songs of the butcherbird, at least I think. What I like most about this recording is the way it ends, with the songs of two additional bird species that I have thus far been unable to identify.
During my last morning of recording in Australia, I managed to snag a real jewel of a recording … the musical song-duetting of a pair of Grey Butcherbirds. What a surprising and delightful “grand finale” to my adventure Down Under. Be sure to listen with headphones or earbuds if you want to discern the whistles of each member of the pair.
A true “signature sound” of Australia is the gurgling, bubbling melody of the Australian Magpie, a large black-and-white butcherbird of open country as well as forest edges and clearings. During our recent trip to New England National Park, I was very fortunate to record the contagious singing of a group, in farm country just outside the park:
We’re heading for New England National Park, about six hours north of Newcastle. Until then, feast your ears on the following recording that I made last night in the Watagan Mountains near Newcastle, a pleasing zen-infused mix of sounds, featuring laugh-like outbursts of Kookaburras, the calls of two species of frogs, and the gentle two-parted hoots of a Southern Boobook Owl.
I love nature’s mysterious voices of the night, and Australia provides a fabulous potpourri nearly everywhere, especially where there is water. The following recording, “Pond at Dusk,” features frogs, insects, and birds sounding off in a small reed-edged pond in farm country not far from Newcastle, Australia.
Yesterday evening, I sat quietly next to a marshy pond full of reeds at the base of the Watagan Mountains. It was dead-calm and the marsh came alive with sound as darkness descended. Enjoy the bright and varied songs of an Australian Reed Warbler, set against of a backdrop of clattering frogs and other sounds.
When I first heard them … bell-like tink calls coming from all around me in the dense understory of the eucalyptus forest at dusk, I thought I was hearing frogs, “Bell Frogs” was my guess. But when I described my experience to Carl later in the evening, he told me with considerable authority that the calls weren’t from frogs, but rather were from birds … Bell Miners (also called “Bellbirds”), to be exact.
Australia is the home of 18 species of doves and pigeons and I’ve been busy gathering sound portraits of all that I come across. My favorites so far are the Peaceful Dove and Bar-shouldered Dove, both inhabiting dry sclerophyll forests. I think you’ll enjoy these two exquisitely relaxing soundscape recordings.