Urban Ducks

Sometimes you don’t know where you might find ducks.  One of my work colleagues, Ochen Kaylan, has chickens and ducks behind his house.  He is part of a cooperative on Nicollet Island in Minneapolis.  He has runner ducks and wood ducks and I couldn’t think of a better way to spend the morning of Superbowl Sunday than with some ducks.  Who needs Cardinals when you have ducks?!

Unfortunately there are more geese than ducks in this photo . . .  the ducks were around the corner.

In addition to ducks, the co-op also has chickens and geese.  Unfortunately, the location was close to a couple of bridges that funnel traffic in and out of downtown Minneapolis.  In order to get a clean recording I had to crawl into the duck coop. It wasn’t the most comfortable place in the world, but it provided a decent amount of isolation from traffic.  

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Recording Geek Note:  Rig consists of Schoeps CMC5 setup for MS, with the MK4 as the mid.  It was all tracked to a Sound Devices 744T at 24/96.  The ducks were only a little afraid of the Rycote.

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Waterfowl at Crex Meadows Revisited

The above photo was taken on October 19, 2008 at Crex Meadows wildlife area in Grantsburg, WI.  I visited once before with my friend Rob Byers and the recording was good, but we knew it could be better.  The first time we went to record it was 4:00 AM, pitch black and we were forced to guess on a good location.  We guessed well, but I knew if we went back the recordings would be more detailed.  Armed with fresh coffee in our “grab and go” cups we headed out at 4:00 AM, moved about 200 feet from the original location and ended up in a location with Sandhill Cranes, Mallards, Wood Ducks, Northern Shovelers, Northern Pintails and Ring-Necked Ducks.

The Sandhill Cranes are the most dominant in the recording; they only got more vocal as the day wore on.   Around 8:00 AM the hunters arrived.  Hunting season just opened and gunshots echoed all around once the sun started to rise.  The birds on the recordings are the lucky ones – they managed to find their way to the refuge!

The first file below is from 5:00 AM and is relatively quiet.

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The second file is from 8:00 AM and is more active.

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Recording Geek Note:  

Schoeps CMC5’s in an MS configuration on a stand approximately 7 feet high.  Recorded directly to a Sound Devices 744T at 24/96.   More Photos if you keep reading.

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Waterfowl at Crex Meadows

Cranes at Crex Meadow

Here is a snippet of a recording from Crex Meadows wildlife refuge at around 5 or 6 AM.  The location was quiet until about 9:00 when hunters started to show up.

This was recorded with Schoeps in an MS configuration.

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