Nature Resounds vol 13 - In The Courtship Arena of The Western Capercaillie

by Lauri Hallikainen

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about

As far as I am aware, this recording is first to have focused on sounds and songs heard in the courtship rituals of the Western Capercaillie. Thanks to an innovative recording technique, it has been possible to record this unique sound material. For example, on track 2 you can hear the deep, growling throaty-sound of the cock capercaillie, tracks 1 and 12 have captured the courting invitations issued by the hen capercaillies, tracks 4, 10 and 15 display the deep and powerful wing-beat sounds (possibly courtship calling cries), track 11 has the tapping and grinding-like sound of several capercaillie cocks, track 6 reveals the grunting threatening calls of several cocks in the gloomy dusk. The disc also contains several breath-taking soundscapes which capture the magic of the wilderness, for example, on some of these tracks you will hear the hoot of the owl. These recordings were made in the early dawn as the sun gradually appears, you can almost touch the beauty of the spring morning, the magic of the taiga conifer forest and its bird-life, for example two species of woodpeckers and two owl species.

The capercaillie is the largest of the grouse species living in the taiga conifer forests. The mysterious and secret courtship ritual of the capercaillie is one of Mother Nature’s most exotic displays. The capercaillie lives in the deepest, most remote parts of the forest, far away from humans. The courtship ritual is an extremely elusive event and it does not tolerate even the slightest interference. For this reason, the birds select their courtship arena with care; it has to be isolated and disturbance-free in a remote corner of the forest. This explains why it is so difficult to record the courtship ritual and why special precautions had to be taken. It is absolutely crucial that the birds should not be disturbed during the ritual and this can best be achieved by hiding the recording apparatus near to the arena. The birds arrive at the arena (sometimes called a lek) in the evening and leave in the morning and therefore it is possible to position the equipment in the afternoon without disturbing the birds. In this way, it has been possible to hear sounds and songs from these birds which have not been recorded before.

I would like to thank all of the people involved in this project; those who helped me locate the courtship arenas and those helpers and professionals who helped in the production of this CD. I send my special thanks to my wife Maarit for her support as well as her feedback and attention during the preparation of this material.

Kuopio, 8th July 2012
Lauri Hallikainen
Producer / Recording engineer

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released July 8, 2012

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Lauri Hallikainen Kuopio, Finland

I live in Eastern Finland, in an area which contains a large number of quiet sites, perfect for recording nature. I've been making nature recordings for over 20 years.

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