Spectrum 094. Sanctuary of song

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Tono kōrero mai

Spectrum was a long-running weekly radio documentary series which captured the essence of New Zealand from 1972 to 2016. Alwyn Owen and Jack Perkins produced the series for many years, creating a valuable library of New Zealand oral history. 

Alwyn Owen accompanies bird-song recorder John Kendrick to the Kāpiti Island bird sanctuary on a recording expedition.

John, who works as the Audio and Visual Aids Officer with the Wildlife Service, explains the difficulties and techniques used to record bird song. With patience, they capture the song of robins, kaka, bellbirds, little grey kiwi, blue penguins and weka.

University students, Paul Dowling and Greg Shirley, are also on the island making recordings. They describe a little grey kiwi as it crosses their path. John then relates the story of how he managed to capture the call of the rare kakapo on tape in the Milford region.

Back in his Wellington office, John dubs his tapes onto library reels and meticulously indexes them. He explains how the recordings are used as tracks on in-house motion pictures, supplied as lecture aids, used in conservation, game management, and wild life and airfield research. They have requests from schools and external departments such as the Forest and Bird Society, the Ornithological Society, and the general public. The kakapo recording is replayed.

The programme includes actuality of many bird calls.

John Kendrick's assistant sound recorder was Greg Billing. Produced by Alwyn Owen, with technical direction from David Reed.

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Year 1974

Reference number 30083

Media type AUDIO

Collection Sound Collection

Genre Documentary radio programs
Nonfiction radio programs
Radio programs
Sound recordings

Credits RNZ Collection
Kendrick, John Lisle (b.1922, d.2013), Interviewee
Owen, Alwyn (b.1926), Interviewer

Duration 00:29:55

Date 1974

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