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