Voices of the Night

12 tracks, 71 mins. (Compact Disc Version available here)

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VOICES OF THE NIGHT features twelve of our most exciting recordings of the mysterious sounds of the night. A variety of birds and mammals are covered, including Barred Owl, Great Horned Owl, Eastern Screech-Owl, Coyote, Beaver, White-tailed Deer, Common Loon, Whip-poor-will, Chuck-will’s Widow, Common Nighthawk, and American Woodcock. Be prepared for a real treat!

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1. Owl Family (5:36) – Sometimes, Barred Owls seem to hoot “just for the fun of it”. This recording documents the sounds of a family nesting in swampy forest in the Alexander Creek Wilderness Area in central Florida. Along with group outbursts of the adults, listen for the up-slurred squeals (begging calls) of an immature, which become quite animated when he is being fed. Crickets trill and chirp, and Pig Frogs croak intermittently. Listen also for the clamouring of Green Treefrogs, heard in the distance. 2am, 6 May 1994, Ocala National Forest in central Florida. © Lang Elliott.

2. Nightjar Pond (4:50) – In forested areas over much of the Midwest in spring, the incessant singing of Whip-poor-wills is a treasured nighttime melody. This individual was recorded next to a small pond in the mountains of southern Indiana. Bullfrogs ocassionally sound off and Northern Cricket Frogs give clicking calls throughout in the background. 10pm, 21 May 1994, Creamer Wilderness Area, southern Indiana. © Lang Elliott.

3. Coyote Dreams (7:13) – This jewel of a recording is from Land Between the Lakes, Kentucky. It is autumn and the only sound in the cooling nighttime forest is a subdued insect chorus. Then, quite unexpectedly, distant Coyotes sound off, not once but two times, their musical howls meandering, interweaving, and echoing across the hilly landscape. This is pure magic to the ears! Other night sounds include the throaty croaks of a Great Blue Heron and the honks of a Canada Goose in a nearby marsh. 9:45pm, 3 October 2009, Land Between the Lakes, Kentucky. © Bob McGuire & Lang Elliott.

4. Swamp Owls (4:56) – The Great Horned Owl is another favorite night singer. This recording documents the calling of several owls taking refuge in a forest patch next to a huge marsh. The owls call from near and far, and often fly to different perches, their wing flapping audible at times. The continuous chattering in the backgound is a huge chorus of Wood Frogs calling from the marsh. A lone female Mallard sounds off as well. Toward the end, a Barn Owl gives several high-pitched screams. 11pm, 1 May 1993, Delta Marsh along south shore of Lake Manitoba, Manitoba. © Lang Elliott.

5. Boomdiver (8:11) – This fabulous recording portrays the nasal peents and booms of a Common Nighthawk, performing its aerial courtship display just before dawn in a northwoods lake country setting. Greenfrogs call from a nearby pond. Flying overhead, the nighthawk gives call after call and then suddenly dives toward the ground, swooping up at the very last moment to make an explosive fluttering sound with his wings … this is the nighthawk’s “boom”, and what a remarkable sound it is! 4:30am, 17 May 2006, Adirondack Mountains near Paul Smiths, New York. © Ted Mack.

6. Beaver Talk (7:21) – You’re not going to believe your ears! Everyone knows that Beavers slap their tails when alarmed, but few are aware of the moaning sounds they make in and around their dome-shaped dens. This recording, made in the middle of night next to a den, begins with a low growl, followed by chewing sounds, and then expressive moaning calls that are probably being given by young of the year. 3am, 4 September 1994, Conn Hill Wildlife Management Area near Ithaca, New York. © Lang Elliott.

7. Whinny Brook (6:30) – The primary call of the Eastern Screech Owl is a down-slurred whistle that resembles the whinny of a tiny horse. This recording features a lone owl calling next to a small brook in a deep, forested ravine. The combination of the owl’s mournful cry and the hollow-sounding gurgles of stream make for a magical listening experience. Listen also for the screech-owl’s trill-call, given several times during the last half of the recording. 11pm, 20 July 2013, near Freeville, New York. © Lang Elliott.

8. Loon Magic (6:30) – Everyone loves the echoing cries of the Common Loon, a favorite north country species. Recorded in Algonquin Provincial Park, listen for the loon’s wolf-like wails, undulating yodels, and hysterical laugh-like tremolo calls. Spring Peepers call in the background throughout, American Toads trill softly at times, and American Bullfrogs sound off here and there. Toward the end, listen for the soft tooting of a Saw-whet Owl and finally the primal croaks of a Great Blue Heron.10:30pm, 15 June 1994, Algonquin Provincial Park, Quebec, Canada. © Ted Mack.

9. Chuckwill’s Lullaby (4:46) –In the southern states, what most people think are Whip-poor-wills are actually Chuck-will’s-widows. The two species sound similar, but can easily be distinguised with careful listening. This mesmerizing recording was made in a southern pine woods setting and features several Chuck-wills (one close and others more distant), set against a relaxing insect chorus and the distant hoots of a Barred Owl. 10pm, 18 May 1994, near Newport, Florida. © Ted Mack.

10. Timberdoodle (6:56) – “Timberdoodle” is another name for the Amerian Woodcock, a member of the shorebird family that breeds in old fields and meadows. This unique recording documents the woodcock’s amazing courtship display, set against a chorus of Spring Peepers. It begins with the male strutting about on the ground, giving his chacteristic nasal peent calls (they sound much like the peents of nighthawks), each preceded by a soft, throaty note that is sometimes given alone. After about two minutes of peenting, he suddenly takes flight, whizzing by the microphone while making his characteristic flight twitter with his wings. He then circles overhead, twittering continuously (listen carefully because the twitter gets very soft). After about a minute of circling, he drops from the sky, giving unique whimpering sounds that signal his descent to the ground where he will repeat the cycle once again. 9:30pm, 25 May 1994, near Tofte, Minnesota. © Ted Mack.

11. Kentucky Marsh (5:46) – The wonderful recording of a Kentucky marsh features an abundance of night sounds, including the hoots of Barred Owls, the croaks of Great Blue Herons, and the surprising alarm snorts and bounding-away of White-tailed Deer. All these sounds are set against a continuous backdrop of Whip-poor-wills, Spring Peepers, and Field Crickets. What a wonderfully immersive marshland soundscape! 11pm, 15 April, 1995. Land Between the Lakes, Kentucky. © Lang Elliott.

12. Screech-Owl Farewell (6:09) – This is perhaps our finest Eastern Screech-owl recording. At 11pm on late summer night, we placed a microphone on a wooded hillside at the edge of a creek basin. Equipped with a large battery, the recorder ran continuously until dawn, at which time we recovered it and hurried back to the studio in excited anticipation. At first we thought our effort was a flop, but then we discovered a wonderful (though rather brief) sequence of screech-owl calls, set against a lovely backdrop of cricket and katydid songs. Imagine that … nearly seven hours of nothing special but hidden within was six minutes of pure gold. Early am, 27 August 2011, Salmon Creek basin near Ludlowville, New York. © Lang Elliott.

Notes by Lang Elliott

lang_500-300x300We’ve spent over two decades collecting night recordings here in North America, so it was truly a challenge to choose the ones to be featured in this title. We decided not to include recordings predominantly of frogs and toads, reserving those for other titles that will focus specifically on that group. So we lined up all our best bird and mammal night recordings and chose the ones we felt would be most appropriate. Don’t worry … we haven’t thrown away the rest … we intend to feature many of them in a second volume, to be published not far down the road. So please consider this title to be the “tip of the iceberg,” a mere sampling of the remarkable soundscapes we have gathered in the dark of the night.

Product Publication Information

Title: Voices of the Night
Type: Pure Nature Soundscapes (stereo/binaural)
Length: 12 tracks, 71 minutes
Format: MP3 (256kbps) and FLAC digital downloads, On-demand Compact Disc
Download File Name: voices_of_the_night.zip (135 megabytes); voices_of_the_night_flac.zip (386 megabytes)
Date Published: April 2013
Recordists: Lang Elliott, Ted Mack, and Bob McGuire
Copyright: “Voices of the Night” © 2013 Lang Elliott, Music of Nature, All Rights Reserved (note: each track is individually copyrighted by the person who recorded the track).
Cover Photos: coyote from iStock by Getty Images

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