Recording Bird Calls - microphones

To: David Stowe <>
Subject: Recording Bird Calls - microphones
From: Carl Clifford <>
Date: Thu, 11 Feb 2010 16:12:40 +1100

I had a bit of a look around at the end of last year for a mic for my DSLR. There seems to be a fair bit of choice and the main problem seems to be mounting the mic. The logical spot to attach a mic on a DSLR is the flash hot shoe, but there lies the problem, as there is enough rearward projection of the mics behind the mount to be a right pain, literally, due to one being jabbed in the eye. a flash type bracket would probably be needed. Have a look at BH Photovideo's site for an idea of what is available at

I suppose that after one has improved the audio input for ones HD DSLR, you have to look at lighting. A flash is not much good for video, so a video light is needed and it and battery mounted, so that means a more sophisticated mount, something like a "Fig Rig". See S So another bit of kit to fork out for, although you could build your own, see  . I suppose it must be all worth it in the long run, but it seems that it was only yesterday that you could go out for a nice days birding with only binos, notebook and pencil. Now I feel like a Tibetan salt trader's Yak when I go out laden with enough kit to sink the Hesperus. But it is fun, isn't it?

I would be interested in hearing what you turn up David.


Carl Clifford

On 11/02/2010, at 2:42 PM, David Stowe wrote:

Following on from that thought, I have just bought a new DSLR that records video. I think the idea of being able to record sounds/calls as well would be great as per Andrew's comments.
Does anyone have any suggestions for a suitable microphone?
Requirements would be:
1. Fairly small/lightweight
2. Not too expensive, but still making it a worthwhile quality jump over the inbuilt microphone.

David Stowe

On 11/02/2010, at 2:06 PM, Andrew Taylor wrote:

On Thu, Feb 11, 2010 at 12:02:56PM +1100, Carl Clifford wrote:
Unfortunately not many birders go out with a Nagra in
their back pocket.

More is the pity.  Its great when links to digital pics are posted and
we get commentary from people like Mike Carter.  It'd be good to get
the samefor calls.

And these days you can get something much better than the classic
reel-to-reel Nagra for several hundred dollars, and it will fit in your
back pocket, e.g:


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