Most unique audio recordings you have ever taken

We naturalists record audio. Which are the most exceptional/unique?

For me,

  1. The only recording of the insanely abundant White-Browed Bulbul (Pycnonotus luteolus) designated as a Flight Call (on Xeno-Canto, and soon to be the second on the Macaulay Library):

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Not sure if this counts, as it’s an environmental (meteorological?) recording rather than a biological one, but it’s the most interesting I’ve heard, and am only ~70% sure I have a good explanation for it:

I used to live in an extremely flat area, and would often get really intense thunderstorms. Occasionally, the thunder would have an unusual spectrum, with audibly harmonic sounds and clearly defined peaks at certain frequencies (1kHz and 2kHz in this case).

I’ve asked various physicists and meteorologists about it, and the best explanation any of us could come up with was that the large areas of very flat ground and very flat cloud layer allowed standing waves to establish themselves, resulting in unusually harmonic thunder rather than the usual highly reflected noise. I’m open to other suggestions though!


This unidentified SCREAM IN THE NIGHT!
(4:12 am; Nassau County, NE Florida)


Most beautiful might be a Demoiselle Crane with 2/3 of auio on iNat being mine, very unusual flight of male Bryodema gebleri a common but underrepresented species, only auio on iNat, ranomly found male Common Quail and rare for the region pair of Spotted Nutcrackers.

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a wing-ticking Flesh Fly (Sarcophaga)


Have foxes been ruled out? They have some really freakish calls.

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I didn’t know chipmunks could sound so bird-like. I was so confused.

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During the Southwest Texas iNat-a-Thon we heard the amazingly weird calls of a North American Porcupine. Here’s video of @sambiology looking for it. I should add those calls to the observation

Cranes have the best calls! I shot this video of Sandhill Cranes a few years ago.

Sandhill Cranes at Dusk from Tony Iwane on Vimeo.


No foxes haven’t been ruled out. I was wondering about them, too, but I just don’t know.

The sound of a rako chick being fed in the burrow on Tawhiti Rahi, one of the only two islands they breed anywhere in the world (there on permit for conservation work)!

Not sure if it’s quite unique since it’s the technique we use every time, but singing to о̄i and them being summoned in while singing right back <3


Hiking in Yellowstone, made this recording of numerous Brewer’s Sparrows:


here are a couple of cases of animals making sounds that were unexpected (to me):

in terms of unusual bird sounds, i think the scissor-tailed flycatcher has an unusual song, which reminds me of fast forward. (i have an observation that links to a video with sound, but it’s not great. there are better examples if you do a quick internet search.)

edit: i was thinking about it, and i wonder if baby fish are called fry because of the sound they make (which resembles something being fried in a pan)?

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This mysterious bird (I think it’s a bird at least), I still don’t know what it may be. The recording was taken in a mangrove swamp where I’ve seen cormorants, herons, egretts, and roseate spoonbills, as well as many different small birds, but I’d think the sound was made by a bird on the bigger side.

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A black-capped chickadee sounding enough like a house sparrow that BirdNET IDs it as one(just the first set of harsh calls):
I’m not sure how unique it is, I hear it quite a bit at around me at certain times, but I haven’t heard it in others’ recordings yet.

Either that or a black walnut being chewed on by a squirrel, something else I hear a lot, but I find it to sound different from other chewing and nobody else has black walnut audio on iNat yet.


A funny one: Sometimes I think ‘some species are so obvious in the environment that nobody could miss them, not even a complete newbie’. And then I remind myself that, while hurrying around a field margin trying to get a better recording of a blackcap, I completely ignored a cuckoo.

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Coyotes really do howl at the moon! This started just after the moon came up and cleared the rise:

At least, that’s what I thought until I heard the ambulance at the end… instead, they may have been howling with the siren.:stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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