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  • Writer's pictureSteven Hansen

Listen to the Most Beautiful Birdsong in North America

Updated: Sep 10, 2023

“I stepped away from the mic, hit the record button, and prayed to high heaven that there would be no disruptions … no cars driving by, no jets flying over, no motorcycles starting up in the distance. Thankfully, the force was with me!”

So notes Lang Elliott about his last-minute rush to Shindagin Hollow on the early morning of July 20 to record the dawn chorus of the North American wood thrush, whose song is considered the most beautiful of any bird in this part of the world.

He was able to capture a full 10 minutes’ worth of male wood thrushes singing by a gurgling brook, before a pickup truck rumbled down the road nearby, bringing an end to the rare serenade.

Listening to the full dawn recording, along with a similar recording Elliott made at dusk a few days earlier in the same forest in New York’s Finger Lakes Region, is a truly entrancing mid-summer experience.

Listen to it here, using headphones for the full glorious effect:

Elliott, a professional nature recordist based in Ithaca, New York, has been creating immersive binaural soundscapes of nature for over 25 years. His recordings have been featured on television shows, in museums, and in films, and he has also released several albums of his own. Elliott's work is known for its beauty, its realism, and its ability to transport listeners to the natural world.

Specializing in “spacious 3D-binaural soundscapes,” Elliott is a renowned naturalist and accomplished photographer, videographer, author, poet and speaker, as well as a sound recordist. He has produced a huge library of work documenting the natural world, including digital sound recordings, CDs, books, videos, YouTube and Vimeo channels, a Soundcloud channel, the Pure Nature Soundscape mobile app, and a podcast. All of which are linked from his popular Music Of Nature website.

Elliott is also the co-inventor of the SongFinder, a special app that helps birders with high frequency hearing loss hear the songs and sounds of birds in the wild again.

Photos (from top): Wood thrush by Andy Reago and Chrissy McClarren/Flickr (CC-BY-2.0) from; Lang Elliott photo by Wil Hershberger; images from; image of the SongFinder app from

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1 Comment

Unknown member
Aug 15, 2023

Thank goodness for people like Lang Elliott, and what an incredibly beautiful website he has! Thank you for sharing this story with us, Steve!

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