Bird Song & Call Recording
Bird Sound Recording Equipment
Recording the songs of birds you encounter can
be fun. Sound recording equipment can run from a few
hundred dollars to several thousand. It is best to start
out small, but many people get hooked on it, and before long
they have a lot of money invested. Since the microphone
is what captures the birds sound, it is the first piece of equipment
to consider. Next you will need a recorder that has an
external input for your mike. There is wide range of
recorders, from cassette, MiniDisc, to CF cards. It is
also a good idea to get a windscreen, or sock for your mike if it does
not come with one.
For birders there are
two types of microphone systems. One is a handheld directional mike
called a shotgun mike, called this because it looks like a
long gun barrel. They are easy to pack on a trip, and
using them is a simple as pointing them at the bird you are
trying to record.
One of the lowest priced shotgun mikes you can
buy is the audio-technica ATR55. This mike is designed
for video cameras but is also used by birders. While
most shotgun mikes are not designed to be used with a
parabola, this one does give you that option. If it is
hand held it tends to pick up handling noise, but it can be
placed on a tripod.
Many birders use equipment combinations such
as the two listed below to record bird songs and calls.
Bird sound recording package 1
Bird sound recording package 2
There are of course many combinations of
equipment to choose from depending on your budget.
Here are some shotgun mikes
sold on Amazon.
The second type of system is a mike in a parabolic
reflector or dish. The dish can be anywhere from one to a
few feet. When pointed at a bird all the sound waves
that strike the dish are funneled to the center where the mike
is. This type of system is a little more cumbersome, but
the sound will be clearer, especially for soft sounds, or
those in the distance. This is because the dish can
collect hundreds of times more sound energy than the shotgun
mike. Though it provides a stronger signal the sound is also a bit
distorted with parabolic reflectors.
Learn more about Bird Songs and Calls.