Audio Big Year 2017


My Audio Big Year 2017

January 10, 2017

It’s not that I am tired of looking at birds, I love bird watching, but about 50% of bird watching is listening.  I am excited to now fully address my audiology skills of birding by recording as many North Carolina birds as possible in 2017. Call it an Audio Big Year if you will, I just want to explore the science of bird sounds, observe and learn, and share what I find.  

For my recording equipment,  I chose, for now,  a simple device, the Tascam DR-05.

 I researched the iPhone microphones in the hope of not having to carry more stuff on birding trips, but they came up a little short on quality and were high priced compared to the Tascom, a device designed for sound recording.

Time, results and your feedback will decide my next equipment purchase. 

For software, I am starting out using Audacity, a free program recommended by other bird sound recorders.  Again, seems a good place to start.

I am uploading my sounds to XENO-CANTO, eBird and here at Two Talons Up. The sonograms are best viewed at eBird. 

Headed outside………………

April 2017 Update

I just might be getting the hang of this after spending a few days on the coast.  It is amazing how much background noise there is, everywhere.  Slowly, I am learning how to use the Audacity software to clean up the recordings from the field.  As in photo editing, this can be overdone.  Please let me know if you find any ID mistakes.  One of the goals of doing this is to get better at sound identification. Hope to add more later this month, even maybe some recordings of birds of Japan, where we are headed in 12 days. 

Brown-headed and White-breasted Nuthatch

01/14/17  – Rollingview SRA, Durham, NC  This is my very first recording, edit and posting.  This is a good example of over-processing.  I will probably pull it as soon as I have something better for these two birds. 

Yellow-throated Warbler

04/03/17  Alligator River NWR

04/05/17  –  Lake Mattamuskeet NWR


04/10/17 Rollingview SRA

Clapper Rail – this guys are tough for me. Please let me know in the comments section what you think.

04/04/17 – Bodie Island Lighthouse   At dusk, near the gate to the sound-side road.  I wonder if there is also a Northern Cricket frog in the mix. 


The following is a recording from ARNWR. As we birders sometimes do, I tried to make it something it is not, a rail.   Listen to this Northern Cricket Frog. 


Pine Warbler

04/05/17 – Lake Mattamuskeet NWR


04/08/2017 – Wilkerson Nature Preserve

Northern Parula

04/05/17 – Lake Mattamuskeet NWR Interesting ending for the first call.



04/04/17 – Roanoke Island Marsh There were 3 Osprey soaring 40-80 feet above me. I left quickly as they seem irritated with my presence. My posting at Xeno-Canto was flagged, I selected Eastern Osprey, of course, since I live in the eastern U.S., but alas, we have the Western Osprey here.


Black-throated Green Warbler

04/05/17 – Alligator River NWR     You might need to turn the volume up on this recording.


Common Yellowthroat

04/04/17 – Alligator River NWR


Tufted Titmouse

04/08/17  – Wilkerson Nature Preserve, Raleigh, N.C.

Two and Three syllables


Six syllables

Brown-headed Cowbird

04/08/2017 – Wilkerson Nature Preserve


Carolina Wren

04/08/2017 – Wilkerson Nature Preserve, Raleigh, N.C.


White-throated Sparrow

04/08/2017 – Wilkerson Nature Preserve, Raleigh, N.C.


Red-bellied Woodpecker

04/09/17 Brookhaven Nature Preserve



04/10/17 Rollingview SRA


Ruby-crowned Kinglet

04/10/17 Rollingview SRA


Chipping Sparrow

04/10/17  Rollingview SRA

American Crow

04/10/17  Rollingview SRA


Mobbing behavior

Rough-winged Sparrow

04/10/17 Rollingview SRA


Northern Cardinal

04/10/17  Rollingview SRA


Canada Goose

04/10/17 Rollingview SRA


Carolina Chickadee

04/10/17  Rollingview SRA


Yellow-rumped Warbler

04/12/17 – Durham County, NC These birds were in my front yard This was the first time identifying the YRWA song for me, and I found their song to be very quiet, and difficult to record clearly.

Sandy Creek Park, Durham, NC

White-eyed Vireo

04/12/17 Durham County, NC


Northern Mockingbird

04/14/17 Schenck Forest


Fish Crow

04/14/17 Schenck Forest


Red-eyed Video

04/14/17 Schenck Forest


Hairy Woodpecker

04/14/17 Schenck Forest


Prothonotary Warbler

04/15/17  Sandy Creek Park


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