An album of recorded birdsong has managed to beat Christmas classics from Mariah Carey and Michael Bublé to make it into the top five of Australia’s music charts, also leapfrogging ABBA and Justin Bieber.
“Songs of Disappearance,” which features the call of 53 of Australia’s most threatened bird species, has soared to fifth place in the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) album chart.
It was released on December 3 by not-for-profit organization BirdLife Australia and features birdsong captured in the wild by nature recordist David Stewart.
Nature Sound, the Bowerbird Collective, Charles Darwin University and Mervyn Street of Mangkaja Arts also collaborated on the project, which raises awareness of the need to protect the nation’s declining bird species.
In a press release Monday, Charles Darwin University, whose PHD candidate Anthony Albrecht produced the album, said the birds featured are on the “brink of extinction.”
They include the swift parrot, orange-bellied parrot, princess parrots, forty-spotted pardalotes, regent honeyeaters, and the migratory far-eastern curlew and bar-tailed godwit.
“The Australian public must be made aware of the dire situation facing our unique wildlife. With ‘Songs of Disappearance’, we offer the sounds of species that could soon disappear forever,” said Albrecht in the press release.
On its website, BirdLife Australia said the title track “celebrates the incredible diversity of the Australian soundscape, and highlights what we stand to lose without taking action.”
Listeners will be immersed in a “chorus of iconic cockatoos, the buzzing of bowerbirds, a bizarre symphony of seabirds, and the haunting call of one of the last remaining night parrots,” BirdLife Australia adds.
The project aims to show that Australians will “not allow… precious avian voices to be silenced.”
Habitat destruction and climate change are threatening the longevity of many bird species, according to BirdLife Australia.
A study by BirdLife Australia and Charles Darwin University found about one in six Australian birds are threatened with extinction, with bush fires, severe drought and heatwaves among the biggest risks.