Crow Mafia

I had gone out early this morning in hopes of testing out our new microphone and solid-state recorder for our Ornithology class. The usual birds were singing, Tufted Titmouse, Black-capped Chickadee, the occasional White-throated Sparrow. I picked up a Northern Cardinal singing down the trail a bit, so I walked along in an attempt to get closer. When I rounded the corner I found the cardinal perched about 30 feet in the scrubby edge of a cedar stand. I positioned the microphone toward it, noted the species, and almost immediately saw (and heard) a Great Horned Owl come bounding out of the top of a red cedar. It had been perfectly camouflaged in that cedar, and as it left the tree its weight caused the top to spring back in the direction of flight like a catapult. It startled me at first, then filled me with excitement. I know the owls nest on our property because I hear them throughout the year, but it’s rare that I actually get to see one. What followed was an audio extravaganza as the American Crows mobbed the owl some distance away from where I originally flushed it. The recording below captures it all. It’s a bit long- but the cacophony of crows is (hopefully) worth it.

Recorded with a Sennheiser ME66 on a Marantz PMD670
00:03 – Owl flushes
00:05 – I swear
00:27 – Crow mob begins
**Tess, my dog, is the one running through the leaves

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2 Responses to Crow Mafia

  1. David July says:

    It was worth it, indeed. I decided to play this clip on my server which is connected to my stereo system. The sound filled the room nicely after I turned the volume up. Closing my eyes I could vividly picture the scene. Beyond the crowing, the sound details were captured excellently by your equipment, even down to Tess’ collar rattling.

    It was an interesting and enjoyable experience. Thanks for the great recording!

  2. David says:

    Awesome! Thanks for posting! Since recording is a new thing for me it’s really great to get some feedback. It did sound great when I was recording it- I couldn’t believe the ruckus coming through my headphones!