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In Search of the Araripe Manakin

Former BirdNote board member, Gerrit Vyn, is a sound recordist and photographer for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. The bird he's looking for is a stunner — the Araripe Manakin. The bird is critically endangered, in part because it has a tiny global range – occurring only on the slopes of Brazil’s Araripe Plateau. Scientists had known of the bird only since 1996, and there were no "clean" recordings of it. Gerrit hoped to record the bird without the background noises of the surrounding human civilization — roosters, automobiles, dogs barking, music. So, he located one spot on a map he thought might be quiet and ventured to check it out…

Heeding the warnings, Gerrit wore special snake gaiters while working in the forest.

Gerrit’s field gear for the day - a parabolic microphone, a stereo microphone, camera equipment, notebook, sunblock.

A seasonal watercourse at the floor of the ravine provided a nice trail and passed through the territories of several singing males.

And after a long day, he nailed it! A photograph and a clean recording.


These two BirdNote stories follow Gerrit as he goes in search of the Araripe Manakin:
Searching for the Araripe Manakin
Recording the Araripe Manakin

Listen to more shows featuring Gerrit.

Sights & Sounds