This web site is designed to help people learn more about the sounds of nature that they hear around them. Its focus is primarily on birds since they are usually the most frequently heard sounds, and so it contains detailed descriptions of different species. Most of the recordings were made in Switzerland and so the text often refers to the status or habits of that species in Switzerland, however the sounds and sonograms are of relevance to a much wider area wherever the species in question occurs.
Arlette Berlie, an amateur photographer from a nearby town, has kindly agreed to collaborate with this project and thanks to her you can also find some superb photographs of most species which will also help identification.
A large proportion of the sounds were recorded in the Western part of the Jura mountains straddling the Swiss / France border. This is an important habitat which is now ecologically isolated from the larger alps by urban and agricultural expansion. In the coming years the area will feel the effects of global climate change in ways which we currently do not understand. I hope this site will contribute in some small way in documenting how things stood at the end of the first decade of the new millennium.
The Species Section is arranged systematically using the order of bird families found in most field guides (taxonomic order). By browsing the menu or clicking the links, different families and species can be found. The search functions allow you to enter any part of the bird name - English or French common names, or scientific names.
For each species a range of the most commonly heard sounds are available as a streaming stereo mp3 file (128 Kbps to optimise quality and download time) - but they are best listened to through headphones. Active sonogram videos show the detailed pattern of the sounds, these help to understand better the subtleties of the sounds and the visible patterns will assist learning.
The site is a "work in progress" - it is still growing and new species are added as I find time to edit and write about the sounds in my archive, and as Arlette gets new photographs. The Latest Updates section shows a list of the most recent changes.
Finally, an Audio Blog provides an account of interesting recent experiences in nature recording and other types of "noise makers".