Bring Home Sounds of Yellowstone
Invite Yellowstone National Park’s wildlife into your home by listening to the Yellowstone Collection.
Composed of more than 65 sounds from the park, the recordings make you feel as if you are sitting on the edge of the river, listening to the calls of sandhill cranes or hiding behind a tree as a nearby grizzly gnaws on bones.
Sound: About a dozen cranes feed and splash in a marshy area in Lamar Valley. One bird flaps its wings and appears to chase another bird; the powerful wing beats can be heard before two birds begin to call.
Sound: During the spring thaw, bison sometimes get stuck and drown in the newly melted-out Blacktail Pond. Late one night in March 2015, a grizzly bear guarded and fed on a bison carcass there. This is a recording of the grizzly eating: snapping bones and all.
Sound: A pair of wolves in Lamar Valley greets the day with a soulful howl.
Audio producer Jennifer Jerrett recorded the sounds as part of a collaboration between Yellowstone National Park and the Acoustic Atlas at Montana State University Library. The collection launched at the end of January 2016.
“You know these sounds might go away,” Jerrett told Montana Public Radio. “Our landscapes are changing, our soundscapes are changing. You know, things like climate change, habitat loss, even just the presence of people in the park changes the acoustic environment.”
Acoustic Atlas (acousticatlas.org) features free access to audio clips of people, animals and nature (think a bubbling geyser), many of which have been recorded in the Greater Yellowstone area.
“We could not be more excited to share the sounds of Yellowstone through our archive,” says Kenning Arlitsch, dean of the Montana State University Library. “Montana State University Library launched Acoustic Atlas because there are relatively few natural sounds collections at libraries, and even fewer focusing on the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.”
Not All of the Sounds are Animals
Featuring recordings from throughout the Western United States, Acoustic Atlas was founded in 2013. Arlitsch says the Yellowstone Collection fits well into the atlas’ mission to document the sounds of regional ecosystems. Acoustic Atlas aims to use the field recordings to create podcasts about Yellowstone and the research taking place in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.
“It’s not just about recording an elk,” Arlitsch told the Missoulian. “You could record different seasons, different times of day and record ambient sounds as well (as) the way a stream sounds.”
Website visitors will hear more than just the sounds of Yellowstone’s celebrated wildlife. Thunder, the gurgling emitted by a boiling geothermal feature and people also are captured in the audio sounds since they are part of the environment.
Sound: A rhythmic belching of steam. A splashing tongue of water. The steam vent known as the Dragon's Mouth Spring lives up to its name even when you can't see it.
The project is supported in part by Montana State University, the Yellowstone Association, the Yellowstone Park Foundation and a grant through the Eyes on Yellowstone program made possible by Canon U.S.A.
Listen to the Yellowstone Collection. www.nps.gov/yell/learn/photosmultimedia/soundlibrary.htm