One thing you get on Morning Edition that you get almost nowhere else in quite the same way is a chance to listen to the revealing sound of a voice. Might be the secretary of state, might be a person on the street, might even be a creature in the wild. In our series "Sounds Wild" we're listening to animal sounds. And today we'll hear the bare-throated tiger heron. This long-legged wading bird was recorded in Guatemala by Greg Budney, a biologist from the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology.

(Soundbite of bare-throated tiger heron vocalizing)

Mr. GREG BUDNEY (Curator, Library of Natural Sounds, Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology): The bare-throated tiger heron has a spectacular plumage, striped somewhat like a tiger, only the stripes being closer together, and a heavily feathered neck. And as it vocalizes, it extends the neck outward about as far as it can possibly go. It gives this deep, low sound.

When I was making this recording of the bare-throated tiger heron, it was nightfall, and that's when this bird begins to call. We were sitting around the campfire the night before and heard this bird vocalizing. And I had never heard one really close up like this. And we just all looked at each other around the camp in the light of the fire. And I immediately realized this is a great opportunity. I've got to get this. Undoubtedly the name was derived from the plumage having a tiger-striped pattern, but the moment you hear its voice, you can't help think of a large cat.

INSKEEP: NPR correspondent Christopher Joyce tracked down the sounds in "Sounds Wild." And you can find out more about the animals that make them at

Copyright © 2008 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor

Support comes from