The Sound of Summer in Montana
Sunset on the Flying D Ranch in southern Montana. Photo by Jeff Rice.
It was a pleasure to record this month at the Flying D Ranch outside of Bozeman. The 116,000 acre ranch sits on the edge of Big Sky in the Yellowstone corridor and is famously owned by billionaire conservationist and media mogul Ted Turner. This working ranch is known for its thousands of free range bison, but it also shares the land with wolves and grizzlies and countless other wildlife.
Here are sounds gathered over two days at the ranch in July with the special permission of the Turner Endangered Species Fund. This is summer in Montana at its best.
This recording captures the sound of one of the ranch’s larger bison herds.
A distant wolf calls at dusk
Here, a sandhill crane flies through a meadow in the early morning hours
In this recording, coyotes call near their den at sunset. A coyote pup later found the small recorder and played with it and chewed on it over the course of several hours. At the end of this audio file you can hear a coyote crunching on what sounds like a bone as it occasionally nudges the recorder.
This soundscape features the calls and knocks of either red-naped or Williamson’s sapsuckers. Note the distinctive knock pattern.
Spanish Creek wends through the valley.
Cliff swallows call from the eaves of a barn at Cow Camp.
All recordings were made by Jeff Rice for the Acoustic Atlas at Montana State University: acousticatlas.org Permission to record on the Flying D Ranch was provided by the Turner Endangered Species Fund with special assistance from ranch biologist Val Asher. Use of these audio files is allowed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License; creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/us/.