Listening to Boreal Birdsong while filming SongbirdSOS
When the SongbirdSOS crew was shooting in Alberta, I was keen to wake up with the birds and document Erin Bayne’s team listening to Boreal birdsong, doing point counts near Calling Lake Alberta. One challenge when you are working at such northern latitudes is that dawn is around 4 am! But to hear the Boreal birdsong was well worth the effort.
A point count is a field method used to study avian population trends. The data fuels research for many scientists and can be found on the Boreal Avian Modelling Project website. A familiar favourite for many people (for me this songbird is synonymous with forest) is the white-throated sparrow. Eighty-five percent of the population of white-throated sparrows breed in the Boreal. Sadly, these songsters are also in decline, as their population has dropped by thirty percent since 1966.
Below is a sample recording of Boreal birdsong. Listen for the Tennessee Warbler, Hermit Thrush, Fox Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow and Dark-eyed Junco.
Another great resource for Boreal birds and how you can help is the Boreal Songbird Initiative.
Songbird photos by Joshua See.