Songbirding Under 5kHz

Hi! My name is Rob.

I'm a software engineer and naturalist in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. For a decade I've been learning bird identification both by eye and ear, and occasionally leading small group birding outings with the Hamilton Naturalists' Club.

In the last few years I've also been recording birdsong, both with my handheld setup (iPhone + mic) and with automated bioacoustic recording devices I've built or acquired.

Last year I set up the Hamilton Bioacoustics Research Project where we've recorded thousands of hours of soundscapes in natural spaces throughout our region. We've also devised various methods for volunteers to turn the recordings into observational data. This was as stepping stone towards the creation of Songbirding.

Show Production Method

Songbirding was recorded in a deceptively simple manner: a good omnidirectional microphone plus an iPhone, in hand. No crew, no other gear, just one person recording themselves. This kept things very simple and absolutely minimized what would have been a lot of crew-caused noise had others been with me.

In editing together episodes, the experience of having worked with hours upon hours of birdsong in audio with the bioacoustics project helped a ton, though. This made the process of producing initial cuts of episodes very quick -- once you can read spectrograms, reading a couple hours of recordings is pretty quick.

The most intensive part of production was the intro/outro portions, which I decided to add later in the process to give better context and flow to the episodes.