Audio Postcards

Audio postcards offer vignettes of life in Yellowstone: sometimes they are short stories, sometimes ethereal bites of sound. We hope they make you feel like you just happened upon something unexpected, or overheard something captivating. Take a minute to get lost in the rich soundscapes of the park. For the most immersive experience, we recommend headphones. Thanks for listening.

Want more audio? Check out our sound library.

 
A Yellowheaded blackbird perched in a marsh
Spring Composition by Andy Willmore
Natural sound blends with music to create an uplifting aural experience of springtime in Yellowstone.
 
Frost and snow cover rocks in a river
Winter Composition by Andy Willmore
This piece of music and sound features recordings from Yellowstone's coldest season, taking you on a journey with the American dipper as it hunts for food along a river above and below the water's surface.
 
Howling coyote
After Midnight Coyotes
Let these yips and howls transport you to a cold, quiet night at Blacktail Pond.
 
Two visitors nordic skiing
Winter Wonderland
Friends Betsy Heiner, Mary Smith, Sheri Kimble and Helen Michaels travel together to visit the park each winter. We caught up with them on the Old Faithful boardwalks where they were kind enough to share their thoughts about what makes wintertime in Yellowstone so special.
 
Frozen, snow-covered lake
Singing Lake
It's December 17, 2013 and Yellowstone Lake is icing over. Maintenance Supervisor Bruce Sefton walks us down to the lake to listen to a rare, wintertime song.
 
Howling wolf
Winter Wolves
It's wolf mating season here at Yellowstone, which also means it's the peak howling season. Biological Technician Rick McIntyre puts this ethereal winter sound into perspective within the history of Yellowstone.
 
Bird in flight
Snipe Hunt
In the Spring, when many of Yellowstone's grassy meadows are flooded and marshy, a peculiar sound rises out of the gathering dark of nightfall. What makes this sound is surprising enough, but how it makes it is extraordinary. Katy Duffy, Interpretive Planner and birding aficionado, reveals the mystery.
 
A bull bison bellowing
In a Rut
Male bison "bellow" in order to announce their presence and establish dominance in a herd. During the mating season or "rut," bellowing becomes more prevalent, creating a signature sound of midsummer in Yellowstone. Take a drive with Jennifer Jerrett across the park's Northern Range as she goes on a listening safari for the sounds of bison.
 
A bull elk standing in a river
Elk
In this audio postcard listen to bull elk bugling. Bull elk typically bugle during rut in the fall.
 
Smoke from a wildland fire rises in the landscape.
Maple Fire
In this audio postcard, you can listen to the 2016 Maple Fire. Fire often plays an important role in the park's ecosystem.
 
Birds fly around a carcass and a wolf
Curious Magpies
Animal carcasses attract more than just bears and flies—listen to a couple of magpies swoop in to investigate the remains of a bison.
 
A toad slightly immersed in water
Toad Song
At Midway Geyser Basin, a mixed chorus of amphibians greets the onset of dusk.
 
A larger vent covered with mineral deposits
Anemone Geyser
Big Anemone Geyser erupts, belching boiling water.
 
Steam rises from vents on a hill
Small Fumaroles
Yellowstone is full of water features. Listen to a small fumarole in this audio postcard.
 
A bird wades in a stream
American Dipper
American Dippers are often found alongside rivers, darting in and out of the water to forage for food. Listen in to hear its clear, melodious twitter while geese noisily honk.
 
Bear standing over a carcass
Dinnertime in Yellowstone
Grizzly bears have strong jaws that allow them to break through bones. Listen in to get close to the action!
 
Sun rising about a forest
Songbird Sunrise
A Savannah sparrow’s sweet warble rings out among the songs of Common Yellowthroat, American Robins, and other songbirds.
 
A ground squirrel stands on hind legs.
Warning Sounds
Uinta ground squirrels are ubiquitous residents of Mammoth. These feisty critters emit sharp warning cries when other animals (or people) get too close.
 
Sunset colors reflected in a pond.
Marsh Birds
As night falls at Slough Creek Meadow, the distinctive sounds of Wilson’s Snipe, Virginia Rails, and Sora rise out of the marsh.
 
A bird perched on a reed.
Red-Winged Blackbird at Swan Lake
Evenings at Swan Lake are filled with the music of marsh animals: sharp cries of red-winged blackbirds, gentle croaking of boreal chorus frogs and distant calls of sandhill cranes.
 
A large herd of animals in a large valley
Herd Mentality
Spring has sprung! In Gibbon Meadows, a herd of bison dines on the new growth that has popped up as the snow melts and temperatures begin to warm.
 
A mud pot bubbles
Artist Paint Pots
Listen to the clay splash, slurp, and gurgle at Artist Paintpots in this audio postcard.
 
A large bird perches on a snag above a stream.
Juvenile Bald Eagle
As spring arrives in Yellostone, birds are beginning to nest. In this audio postcard listen to a juvenile bald eagle call out to its parents.
 
Red and orange clouds reflected in a lake
Dawn Chorus
Good morning! Wake up with a morning chorus of birds in the latest audio postcard.
 
Person photographing an erupting geyser
Sawmill Geyser Erupts
Sawmill Geyser, located in Upper Geyser Basin, erupts playful-sounding bursts of water.
 
A large bird stands in a swampy crane.
Sandhill Cranes
Summer is on its way! This audio postcard features sandhill cranes, one of Yellowstone's summer residents.

Sponsors

Audio postcards are supported by the Acoustic Atlas through a collaborative project with the Montana State University Library, which collects and curates field recordings of natural sounds in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

Audio postcards are supported, in part, by Yellowstone Forever, and by a generous grant through the Eyes on Yellowstone program. Eyes on Yellowstone is made possible by Canon U.S.A., Inc. This program represents the largest corporate donation for wildlife conservation in the park.

 
Logos for the Acoustic Atlas, Montana State University Library, and Yellowstone Forever
 
Technical assistance provided by Colorado State University's Sound and Light Ecology Team, a group dedicated to understanding and preserving the natural sounds and night skies of the world.
 
Audio postcard technical assistance logos
 

More Information

Last updated: August 4, 2017

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Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 168
Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190-0168

Phone:

(307) 344-7381

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