We have been having some really lovely messages from our lovely listeners over the last few weeks – thank you!
It is so great to hear from our listeners, and especially gratifying that our dawn chorus recordings are being enjoyed, the world over!
One theme in particular has stood out in the thank you’s – and it is the recognition that we are sharing the dawn chorus recording to our listeners as a ‘free gift’.
This was the the main objective of our recordings. There are probably many, many scientists and institutions, and birders recording the dawn chorus daily. We don’t know though, as due to how research is funded and how complicated it is to set an automatic recording daily, it may not be shareable.
We are not scientists (you can probably tell). And, we are not relying on huge grants to make our project possible (er..again; you can probably tell that it is done on shoe string). But the most important thing for us, was to pay it forward. The way we see it, the birds share their songs freely, on a daily basis, and we just happen to be lucky enough to live somewhere relatively undisturbed, where we can hear it almost uninterrupted. We know how privileged we are, and we wanted to find a way to share this experience with others.
A few years ago, I read a book called ‘Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants‘ by Robin Wall Kimmerer. Central to the theme of the book is the idea of ‘reciprocity’; which means: don’t take something away, without giving something back. In the book, Kimmerer explores our relationship to mother nature and how it is one of ‘taking’. Her book definitely encouraged me to think about how to give back to the land and nature.
We like to think that in return for the food we give the birds in our feeders, the birds share their songs with us, and that allows us to share them with you. The idea of keeping the recordings to ourselves or charging people to listen would be wrong – and absurd!
We hope that our project, in some small way, changes the nature of that colonial mindset of ‘take, take, take’, to one in which people and land can be ‘good medicine’ for each other.
If anyone out there wants to use our recordings for commercial purposes, then please do let us know and we will ask you for a donation to our chosen birding charity. Of course if you are a scientist and want to access our archive for research purposes then just contact us, and we will happily share it with you. In a few years time, the dawn chorus may no longer be with us in the same way; so it’s important that an archive is kept, and that any learnings are made that can save the dawn chorus from being wiped out all together.
For now – enjoy the dawn chorus one day at a time and please do contact us to let us know how you like to listen!
If you are interested in the book, then please do not buy it from the company owned by that annoying, space travelling billionaire. Eitherm borrow it from a public library or buy it from your local independent bookshop or from an on-line store like ‘The Hive‘ that supports local bookshops.
As long as the recordings are not used by anyone else for commercial purposes