In the oxbow lakes near where the Black Warrior and Tombigbee rivers meet the coastal plain, lies the Sipsey River Swamp. It is one of the last free flowing stream swamps in Alabama.
Today this land is a patchwork of public and private land, mostly owned by Alabama Forever Wild and Ducks Unlimited. This unlikely partnership between hunters and conservationists protects more than 3,500 acres of this unique wilderness.
The recordings, taken at the edge of a cypress swamp, reveal the life of the swamp during a 24 hour period during the early summer. This time of year, after much of the floodwaters have receded, the swamp is hot, stagnant, and oppressively humid. Perfect for wildlife.
Late afternoon brings the activity of birds looking for a meal. A fussy hawk clammers in the upper canopy. Dragonflies court one another above the swamp's surface. A white-eyed vireo sings occasionally from the water's edge.
As night falls, bird-voiced treefrogs take their places and begin to chorus. Cattle pass nearby, perhaps out for a midnight stroll. Raccoons and deer skirt the edge of the swamp, their presence revealed only by their footsteps through the mucky forest.
Morning breaks with a swampy dawn chorus. A mix of woodland and wetland birds announce their presence and begin the day's foraging exercises.