Recording bird sounds
I like bird watching, and I would like to improve my skills in recognizing bird sounds. To that end, I recently bought a small audio recorder (the H1n handy recorder, for those interested).
It takes a bit of practice to get a good recording, and most files need some editing to get rid of the most annoying ambient sounds. There are various tools, but for me the choice was easy, as I already have Audacity, which is arguably one of the most widely used, and very powerful open source sound editors.
I started to use Audacity to clean up the audio of video recordings I made for my lessons. But working with sound records of birds is another story altogether, as you have to deal with a lot more background noise. I got some good pointers from this side, a site dedicated to sound birds. Perhaps the most important one, don’t overdo it (similar to editing photo’s). Below you can listen to my first three recordings, all three cleaned up a bit using the high-pass filter and noise reduction functions. I might have overdone the editing a bit, not sure.
The recording of the little bittern was actually most difficult to deal with. The low-pass filter is usually good to get rid of the background noise (cars, wind), but the sound of the little bittern is quite low itself. But anyway, below to three recordings, one with a couple of frogs, one with a song thrush and a third one with a little bittern calling. I am sure you’ll recognize the pattern of the latter in the image above.
About the audio player