Celebrate (and relax) with help from Rocky Mountain National Park.

Today, July 18, is World Listening Day and our friends at Rocky Mountain National Park is celebrating with the release of the Rocky Mountain National Park Sound Library. This extensive acoustic catalog contains over 210 recordings of more than 60 bird species, natural soundscapes, and wildlife vocalizations including elk, coyotes, western chorus frogs and even a pine squirrel. All the recordings were collected in the park by Dr. Jacob Job, a researcher with Colorado State University and the NPS Natural Sounds & Night Skies Division

The Sound Library provides a way for all visitors to experience the sounds of the park and creates a historical record of the soundscapes so that changes can be monitored over time.

Natural sounds are part of a web of resources vital to park ecosystems. Sounds compose immersive experiences important for wildlife, wilderness, and visitors. Protecting the unique sound environment of parks is one of the many ways the National Park Service works to sustain parks for future generations. Wildlife depend on hearing natural sounds in the environment for a range of activities including communication, establishing territories, finding habitat, courting and mating, raising families, finding food and avoiding predators, and protecting the young. Picture elk bugling and coyote listening to mice under snow!

Natural sounds have health benefits too. Studies confirm that if we are fortunate enough to hear birds singing, elk bugling, water flowing in a stream or aspen leaves quaking, it can alter our heart rate and help our brain’s connections.

We could all do a better job of slowing down to listen. Find more peaceful moments in our Estes Zen series.