Project Birdsong - Home of Parachirp

Planet Birdsong is an inspirational concept of Peter Cowdray and team who visited us in 2013

to explore how birdsong could be used to help non verbal young adults. We later participated running the project in the local junior school (photo). Mark developed a parabolic microphone that could be laser cut inexpensively to enhance the sensitivity of a lavaliere microphone. We visited various bird sanctuaries and fens, recorded birdsong and returned to the Barn to process the recordings using a piece of software that would visualise the sound as a spectrograph.

By slowing the sound down the recording by a factor of 10 the 'tweet' sounds became audible 'moans' in the human voice range and our students were encouraged to mimic these sounds. Once they learned to mimic the sound we recorded them and played this back at 10x speed to the birds -who would duly respond to the calls! Further creative work involved the spectrographs and multi track performances using the birdsongs themselves.

Project Birdsong is now available as a teacher pack and microphone kit that is designed to facilitate birdsong recordings with no additional microphones or gadgetry. The Planet Birdsong team and a few of our own students have been testing these this spring .... and they work amazingly well.