• Mike Bullock

Eponymous microphones, part 1 / Chewtoy windscreens, part 3

We get a lot of birds at our Ears In Space HQ birdfeeders starting in the late winter: black capped chickadee (the state bird), tufted titmouse, dark-eyed junco, woodpeckers (downy, hairy, red-breasted, and, rarely, pileated), white-breasted nuthatch, cardinal, house finch, and a few others. We have to take down most of the feeders when spring arrives and the local black bears wake up very, very hungry. But in the meantime, it’s busy – and noisy – at the feeders outside our kitchen window.

I built a stereo pair of small omnidirectional mics with a 40-ft. cable. I then attached it to one of the birdfeeder poles and ran the cable inside, to a mini mixer connected to a powered speaker and small recorder. Linda made fake-fur windscreens, smaller versions of the one she made for my Sony D-100 but this time with velcro closures, wrapped around smaller versions of the rubber chew toy from the previous post.

I’ve started building small microphones from electret condenser capsules by Primo as well as anonymous ones I’ve picked up over the years. I was going to call the Mike’s Mics, but that seemed too obvious; my friend Liz suggested I call them “Eponymous.” Liz is a poet and editor, and I trust her advice on words.

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