Every morning, I wake up to the sound of birds chirping. Spotted doves, common mynahs and sparrows conduct a symphony outside my window among the mango trees and Gulmohar branches. 

No, I’m not making this up – I live in the suburbs of Kolkata, where avian habitats haven’t been completely destroyed. Yet.

During the day, we host a range of visitors in our garden – kingfishers, rufous treepies, black hooded orioles. They perch themselves on the clotheslines or walk around in the grass as we watch them from the verandah, being as still and silent as possible.

Before you begin to hate me for bragging about my proximity to nature and its musical whimsies, let me introduce you to Xeno Canto

People all over the world record and share wildlife sounds on this website. You can search according to region and taxonomy, but my favourite thing is to go to the Random Recordings sections and click a title that catches my fancy. 

On this page, I’ve heard the haunting call of a Northern Raven in Lithuania, the hoots of a Western Screeching Owl from Mexico, and a host of other sounds from the marshes, bogs, forests, coves and urban landscapes of our planet.

This website is continuously growing; you can also contribute your own recordings.

If you’re tired of the same old Spotify playlists, go create your own on Xeno Canto.


P.S. Recommend Just One Thing to everyone you know. We’ll all perch outside your window chirp our thanks.