A Veery’s Two Voices

The Veery is a polyphonic singer; it sings simultaneously with both sides of its syrinx. The bird literally has two voices, one from each of its lungs, and it can control them separately. A single Veery sings a duet — and when you slow the song down, you can hear the bird actually harmonize with itself. [Read more]

Recyclers

Andrew May, an associate professor of music at the University of North Texas, has composed a piece of avant-garde classical music called “Recyclers” that centers on a recording of a Northern Mockingbird that I made in Big Bend National Park in 2007. [Read more]

Sounds of Extinct Birds

Ever wondered what a Dodo sounded like? Or a Great Auk? Or a Kaua’i ‘O’o? On a whim, I went looking for sounds of extinct birds on the internet, and I found a lot more than I bargained for — in more ways than one. I managed to turn up some of the rarest, most remarkable, saddest and most haunting recordings I’ve ever heard…and also some of the looniest. [Read more]