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The Kid Should See This

Plantpot Parabolic, a DIY reflector for recording birdsong on a smartphone

North Wales-based nature enthusiast and photographer Ben Porter wanted to record bird and wildlife sounds, including the ‘tee-cher, tee-cher’ song of male Great Tits. During January and February in the UK, these birds “produce a plethora of jazzy calls and songs which can stump even the most seasoned of birders.” You can hear their birdsong in the video above.

listening to the different songbird calls
To record the birds, he uses a DIY parabolic reflector for his smartphone, a project that improved his sound recordings without spending a lot on expensive gear. The video below shares how he made his Plantpot Parabolic:

This setup uses everyday materials (a plant pot, some wood, a few screws and washers, and a bungee cord) to create a parabolic reflector which can be used with your smart phone and an audio recording app. It’s by no means perfect, but I have been really impressed with the results and thought I’d share a rough guide of construction process so others can give it a go too!


plantpot parabolic diy video
plantpot parabolic diy video
Ben Porter has created a series of nature appreciation videos on YouTube. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

Watch these related birding and sound videos next:
• British Birdsong, an illustrated montage of sound
• The Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Bird Song Hero
How to make a Wildlife Camera (using a Raspberry Pi)
Blind Birdwatcher Sees With Sound
• How do birds learn to sing?
• The surprising alarm-like call of the world’s loudest bird

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