Peter Boesman was looking through other recordings for Holland and Belgium and noticed that nearly all recordings were made in the seventies and eighties, and were decades old. For Holland, most recordings were made by Rene Wanders and for elsewhere in Europe, Jean Roché contributed his sounds to nearly every European production. Every new publication coming out used these same recordings over and over again; and as the recordists were often not mentioned, nobody knew where the original material came from.
Recent studies show that it is very important to know where and when a recording of a bird was made, because not all over Europe the same species makes the same sounds. We discovered that many recordings were made in different parts of Europe like Scandinavia, Northern Africa, Israel and some even were from South Africa; pretending the sounds were from Britain or Holland!
It was for these reasons that Peter Boesman took on the task of making new recordings for the birds of Belgium and Holland. His recordings in 2007-09 were are all made with Telinga Parabolic Microphones, everything is recorded in stereo, and Peter used digital recording equipment. This all adds up to a very valuable new offering of bird sound recordings for the region. Since that first publication, Peter Boesman has been out recording additional sounds in the region as well as going to neighboring regions to collect sounds for species that are wintering or migratory, and therefore less vocal. This new collection is much more comprehensive with more recordings of more species.
In the last 25 years a lot changed in sound recording equipment: recording and playback equipment transformed from analogue to digital; a lot of new recording equipment became available like Telinga stereo parabolic microphones, digital recording equipment and on the playback side of the market the digital music players.
A very large proportion of the sounds are recorded in Western Europe. They are almost all in stereo and of excellent quality. The collection is further completed with recordings from outside the region, typically for species that are less vocal over here.
About the Author
Peter Boesman started birding in his home country Belgium when he was twelve. He quickly started travelling all over Europe as a backpacker to learn more about the birds of the old continent. At home he made his knowledge at use by guiding nature walks, writing articles, and taking up responsibilities in the birder’s community. He was member of the Belgian Rarities Committee and co-author of the Avifauna of Flanders, Belgium.
Parallel to his studies and interest for nature, Peter also studied music, and obtained the Belgian government medal for piano and a First prize at the Royal Conservatory of Ghent (presently called a Master in Music) before he was even eighteen years old ! Whether this early interest in music developed his abilities for working with bird sounds much later in his life will remain an open question.
In the 1980’s he started travelling beyond Europe: Africa, Asia, the Middle-East, USA and finally, in 1988, he visited Venezuela, his first neotropical experience.
Only 2 years later, a managerial job opportunity offered by a Belgian multinational company made him move to Venezuela, which allowed him in his free time to get better acquainted with the local avifauna. It was also an opportunity to visit neighboring neotropical countries. Peter made several discoveries in Venezuela, and published articles about them (he was involved in the rediscovery of Grey-headed Warbler, Rusty-flanked Crake, Great Antpitta, Plain-flanked Rail and he put some new birding places on the map such as Caño Colorado in E Venezuela, now a standard stop on many birding tours).
It is in this period that he also got interested in recording bird vocalizations. There was hardly anything available about Venezuelan birds and it became quickly obvious that knowing bird songs was essential to study birds in the neotropics. Armed with a directional microphone and a tape recorder he went off in the field. This was the start of the creation of his present bird sounds collection. Soon he made many unique recordings, not only in Venezuela, but also in other neotropical countries, in Colombia he made the first recordings of a Screech Owl in the Santa Marta region, now suggested to be a new species, and in the same region he recorded in 1994 the foliage-gleaner which was described some 15 years later as Santa Marta Foliage-gleaner based on voice!
In 1995, while birding in Peru, an accident involving a bushmaster, a type of poisonous snake, had near-fatal consequences. Peter miraculously survived, but lost his complete right leg. Less than a year later, he made his first attempts to get back in the field supported by his Venezuelan wife, he continued recording bird vocalizations and did several bird-censuses of areas in NW Venezuela.
Later he moved to the USA for his job, where he published a pioneering CD-ROM Birds of Venezuela, photographs, sounds and distributions. From his new base, it didn’t take him long to venture into the northern side of the neotropics: Mexico. Even when the job called him back to Belgium, he continued travelling to Mexico, and after some years he had not only visited most corners of this magnificent country, but gathered a vast collection of bird song recordings.
In the same way, he could not resist the tempting treasure of birds in Brazil.
At the end of 2005, he again came up with a pioneering idea to publish a large set of bird song recordings on a single MP3 CD per country, for Brazil, Mexico and Venezuela.
While in Belgium, he decided it was time also for this region to have some fresh new recordings (surprisingly, very little had been published of his home country in recent decades!). He acquired the latest digital recording equipment and visited all corners of Belgium and the Netherlands. A few years later, Peter could again deliver, this time an incredible MP3 multimedia field guide of the birds of Belgium and the Netherlands. The novelty not only being the excellent sound recordings, but also the unique combination of sound, pictures, distribution maps and text in a format useable on both PC/Mac and MP3 players.
His latest achievements rightly deserve the term ‘monumental’, for the first time the vocalizations of Peru are documented in a single work containing no less than 3,350 recordings of some 1530 Peruvian bird species, in a similar way he documented the birds of Costa Rica, and now there is the update for Brazil and Venezuela (also available in BirdsEye) in which no less than 4,600 recordings are included.
Through the years, Peter has observed some 3,700 different bird species in the New World alone, and accumulated a bird sound collection of some 28,000 recordings, all digitally available and supported by a database with recording details. He has probably published vocalizations of more bird species than anyone in the world by now, despite his serious physical handicap!
BirdsEye is excited to be able to offer sound packages from birdsounds.nl, an internet shop that specializes in sounds of birds and nature from around the world. Their collections include nearly complete coverage for many of the most popular birding locations, especially in the Neotropics. The recordings are long, of good quality and carefully selected by birders specialized in identifying birds by their song!
HOW SOUND PACKAGES WORK IN BIRDSEYE
Purchasing this package gives you access to a large collection of bird sounds, all within BirdsEye. It also gives you access to the BirdsEye images and text, as well as the eBird data available for the species that are included in the package.
You can download it to your phone for offline use and remove it to free up space as often as you wish. You can access this package on your iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad, so long as they are all registered to your BirdsEye account. To download all of the sounds for offline use, just go to “Settings” and then choose “Download for Offline”. Enjoy!