Listen to this BIG IDEA

One of the acknowledged limitations of this blog (and many others for that matter!), is that pictures alone can never capture the wonderful soundscapes of the Australian bush.

Andrew Skeoch, a contributor to Natural Newstead and an extraordinary nature sound recordist, is featured on ABC radio this week – on one of my favourite programs, Big Ideas.

The episode, entitled ‘Listening to Nature’, was recorded at this year’s Woodford Music Festival.

The evolution of sound and listening. Listening to nature isn’t just a peaceful and joyful experience. It can teach us our place in the natural world. Animal sounds and bird song have adapted to specific environments and habitats, but the use of sound has in turn shaped the evolution of different species. And that includes homo sapiens. Sound has formed us as social and cultural ‘animals’.

Click here to listen to Andrew’s talk – you’ll be very glad you did!


Whistling Kite – hearing the call is always a joyful experience

Andrew, together with his partner Sarah, are Listening Earth – for nearly twenty years they have been recording the diverse, wondrous and delicate sounds of our natural world.

6 responses to “Listen to this BIG IDEA

  1. Yes know what you mean Geoff, the sounds of the Bush creatures is wonderful. I missed that lovely sound when in NZ recently. Very little Birdsong there.

  2. Thank you for the wonderful info. And, BTW, have you noted that the wonderful natural history blog, Ben Cruachan, run by Duncan Fraser is closing down. Duncan is not as young as he used to be. I will miss him. If you pop over to you can read his final post. It tells you what his happening with and to the blog and where, occasionally, Duncan’s writing can still be found. His photo gallery at will continue on.


    Geoff, many thanks for your wonderful postings, each day I look forward to seeing what’s coming and I have to say that I’m never disappointed. The quality of the photos is fantastic, may I ask what equipment do you use?

    Regards, John Wood

    Sent from my iPad


  4. Thank you. I listened to this talk last night and yes, I’m very glad I did. Glorious bird songs! I found Andrew’s discussion of the evolution of bird and primate “song” totally absorbing.

  5. I agree that we are so conscious of visual cues that we forget how much influence sound actually has on us. Years ago I was living in wintry Michigan when the sound of some birdsong came down the corridor of the Museum of Natural History. At first I just noticed I was getting really homesick, but then there was the familiar sound of a magpie carolling. It turned out one of the curators was playing a vinyl record (old technology!) of Australian birdsongs. Most of those bird sounds I didn’t even know I knew.

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