Ideal Microphone for Bird Enthusiasts
Long Range Microphone For Bird Watching
Bird watching experts know a telephoto lens will let you get a great close-up shot of an elusive bird, but if your audio sounds too distant your video can be ruined. Use the Sound Shark parabolic microphone to record great audio to match your great video.
- Birding With Lois
- Wood Fibre Birder
- National Geographic
- Screaming Eagle
- Shotgun Comparison
- Nature Blogger
- Bird Song Identification
- Your Story
We were invited onto “Birding with Lois” to discuss how bird enthusiasts can record bird songs, and how the Sound Shark fits into that.
Nature videographer Chris Dale has captured many wonderful videos for his “WoodFibreBirder” YouTube channel. He was kind enough to share some of his videos with his comments.
Western Meadowlark: “Here is another short video I made of a singing Western Meadowlark last weekend using the Sound Shark. I was on the opposite side of a road and about 30 feet below the bird so I was probably 50 – 60 feet away from the subject. I have been getting YouTube comments from viewers on how clear the sound recording was.”
Tree Swallow: “Here is a short video taken a couple of days ago using the Sound Shark to record these Tree Swallows from about 10 – 15 metres away in the Squamish River Estuary”
Northern Saw-whet Owl Video: “Ducks quacking in front of me and Downy Woodpecker and Pine Siskins in the trees above and Bald Eagles calling about a half kilometre (.3 miles ) away”
Great Horned Owl Video: “Song Sparrow and Marsh Wren in the grass ten meters away and geese in the background and Spotted Towhee three metres away”
Trumpeter Swans: “Sound Shark audio but only synchronized with the video when the swans were eating the grass from about 20 metres ( 60 feet ) away”
Dark-eyed Junco Video: “Taken from about 10 metres ( about 30 feet ) away”
Swainson’s Thrush Video: “The Swainson’s Thrush was taken from about 30 to 40 feet away”
Barred Owl Video: “the American Robins mobbing the Barred Owl were all around in the forest from 10 to 40 feet away but the sound Shark did an excellent job of recording their chirps.”
Varied Thrush Video: “The Varied Thrush was filmed from about 75 feet away.”
Bald Eagles Video: “Most of the eagles in the video were a bout 100 metres away on a gravel bar but the sounds were coming from eagles in the trees close to me as well as across the river about 400 metres away. I think there is only one scene where the eagle in view was making a sound the rest of the calls were made by the eagles further away in the trees. I had my headphones on while I filmed and the sound of the eagles and ducks in the river was amazing.”
National Geographic Explorer, and Fullbright Fellow, Robert A Boyd III (@boydrb3) will be using a Sound Shark to capture audio for his upcoming project. He provided some test clips and an introduction of his project all captured by his Sound Shark. #fulbright #natgeoexplorer
Chicken Call in Normal and Slow Motion
Grackle Call Normal and In Slow Motion
Robert A Boyd III introduces his upcoming National Geographic project.
Nature photographer / cinematographer Eric Williamson has captured several wonderful videos for his ShutterTraxs website. He was kind enough to share one of his videos. Eric said he was approximately 75 feet from the nest.
Nature photographer Marco Valk captured this video of screaming bald eagles with a Lumix GH5, Saramonic Smartrig+ and a Sound Shark parabolic microphone. Valk estimated the distance at 200+ meters but the audio delay indicates the distance was actually much greater. The effective focal length was 1960mm. In his words “Impressive sound! (straight from the camera)”.
The first thing Mr. Valk mentioned, after receiving his Sound Shark (Premium Kit) in the Netherlands, was how much it had reduced his wind noise. Check out Marco’s Facebook page, his Youtube channel, and his gallery.
Solution to my bird song identification problems!
I had been trying to use my iPhone with apps (BirdNET, Merlin, Song Sleuth) to identify my local forest birds. These apps allow you to use your phone to record calls and then offer ID suggestions. But it didn’t work – the bird calls were buried in background noise of the recordings.
I looked into options to improve the recordings of my phone. Professions use parabolic microphones or shotgun mics and a dedicated recorder – kits costing thousands of dollars. DIY options required more audio engineering chops than I had or had time to learn. Even adding an external microphone and adapter could add horrible background hiss if not matched. There was no “Plug and Play” system for recording to a smart phone.
I found the Sound Shark – a portable parabolic receiver/microphone combination. They have great information on their website (kloverproducts.com/sound-shark/us/) and their YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/user/Sound SharkVideos). I contacted their Customer Service to ask what I would need to connect the Sound Shark to my iPhone and get adequate recordings. My email was quickly answered by the most knowledgeable, attentive Customer Service Rep I’ve encountered. I soon realised the “Rep” was Paul Terpstra, the company owner and developer of the Sound Shark. Paul worked with me to get the system I wanted, even testing microphones and adapters.
Now I have a handheld parabolic mic system that plugs into my phone and makes great recordings. We added a phone mount, so I can watch the sonogram on the app while I aim the Sound Shark and record.
Sound Shark is 9” consumer version of a 16” system Paul developed for Fox Sports. Sound Shark Audio (for Consumers)/Klover Products (for Professionals) are great companies. Sound Shark will set you up whether you want to use a smart phone or a dedicated recording system.
They make the Sound Shark in Wisconsin, so they are pure, mostly.
Have you used a Sound Shark in a unique way to record wedding videos? Share your story with us and we will send you a Sound Shark T-shirt!