Bird songs remove celebrities from the Australian music charts

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The tweets and squawks of endangered Australian birds were used to create an album that debuted in the top five on the Aria music charts.

Songs of Disappearance is outperforming Abba and The Weeknd, as well as holiday favourites Michael Bublé and Mariah Carey.

BirdLife Australia produced the album, which features the songs of 53 of Australia’s most endangered species. To catch a single fast tweet, some noises necessitated hours of sitting in the woods. 

David Stewart, a wildlife sound recordist, has spent more than 30 years gathering the sounds of Australia’s wildlife, many of which are rarely heard. His bird recordings were included on the album.

A social media campaign was established to push the album into Australia’s Aria music sales charts when it was published on December 3, and it worked. Songs of Disappearance is the first album of its kind to reach the top five charts.

The proceeds will be used to support BirdLife Australia’s conservation efforts.

“This album is a genuinely exceptional record with very rare recordings of birds that may not survive if we don’t come together to conserve them,” BirdLife Australia CEO Paul Sullivan told The Music Network.

“While our campaign is fun, it has a serious component to it, and it’s been encouraging to see bird enthusiasts demonstrating to governments and businesses that Australians care about these important birds,” he added.

According to research by Charles Darwin University, one in every six Australian birds, or 216 out of 1,299 species, is currently endangered. Climate change is pushing species closer to extinction, according to the study, which incorporated input from over 300 bird specialists.

Their habitat was destroyed by the catastrophic bushfires of 2019 and 2020, and BirdLife Australia predicts that the number of vulnerable bird species has increased by up to 25%.