Technical Report #131. Rauzon M., J. December 20003. The Tahiti Petrels Night on Mt. Lata, Ta'u. National Park of American Samoa

Front of CD cover (click to enlarge) Back of CD cover (click to enlarge)

The 3000' foot summit of the island of Ta'u is Mt. Lata, a vine and tree fern forest whipped by wind, fog and rain. Two thousand foot cliffs from the south side of the summit to the valley floor below. Before darkness settles in, cicadas pulse a busy-signal before quieting for the night. Fruit bats and wattles honeyeaters are also voices in the forest. After dark, Tahiti petrels, large black and white seabirds, return from feeding at sea and fly around Mt. Lata before landing and visiting their nests under the roots of the dense vegetation. Audubon shearwaters also join the choir of petrel whistles and shrieks.

     This CD is an aural window into the ancient past when Polynesia was only populated with seabirds, fruit bats and other things that go bump in the night. Recorded in Dec. 2001 and 2002, using a parabolic dish to amplify calls below the cliff. Surf and wind noise have been filtered out so the birds calls can be more readily hear.

1. Tahiti petrel moans-ground calls

2. Rain and baby-like petrel call

3. Dueting, wheezing petrel ground calls

4. Insistent shrieking hoarse petrel calls

5. Sharp whistles, mule-like petrel calls

6. Known petrel #3. Female? 447 g. feathers collected

7. Cave drip, haunted place

8. Rain and aerial petrel calls taped with parabolic mic

9. Wall of whistles

10. Aerial recording, Mino and Mark talk, almost fall off cliff

11. Cicadas and petrel whistles

12. Cicada and petrel moaning, cicadas end for night

13. Surf noise from valley below; echoes of seabirds off cliff

14. Fruit bats, cicadas and wattled honeyeaters. Samoan choir with village noises