Alan Burbidge – The Sound Collector

Great video about the work of wildlife sound recordist Alan Burbidge.

Although many of us think we rely mostly on our eyes to identify birds (and my mystery birds series seems to support that notion), I’ve often been told that birdwatching is “80 percent listening”. For quite a few years, I relied exclusively on my ears to identify birds after a friend dropped my binoculars onto a parking lot pavement, so I continued birding by walking around and learning to identify species based on sound alone. During that time and ever since, I amassed a large library of birdsong and wildlife sounds tapes and CDs to refine my abilities.

Alan Burbidge is a different sort of bird watcher than most. Instead of collecting visual experiences, Mr Burbidge collects auditory experiences: he records and collects the songs and other sounds that birds, insects and other animals make in the wilderness. Mr Burbidge is a wildlife sound recordist. The sound recordings he makes are used by scientists, birders and other wildlife enthusiasts for research purposes as well as for learning aids (and sometimes, just for sheer listening pleasure).

The Guardian