Sounds of the City: The Birds and Bells of Austin

When you think about city sounds, you most likely think about loud noises such as ringing sirens, honking car horns, roaring garbage trucks, and people yelling on the street.I used to talk about the sounds of the city a lot in New York. While the noise tends to overwhelmed visitors, most New Yorkers say that the city sounds act as a comforting white noise as they fall asleep.

If you were to ask an Austiner what the city sounds like, they would probably come up with something like this:

These birds are called Grackles, and they are funny little creatures. A lot of people online share stories of these birds coming up very close to you and trying to be friends. Some people even own these guys as pets. I didn’t get to stay in Austin during migration season, but apparently the birds fill the skies over Austin during that time. I love sitting on our balcony and listening to the bird calls reverberate throughout the tall surrounding buildings.

Living in Burlington, I thought that I needed to have be in a city that was close to nature, specifically on the water. However, after my time in Austin, I found that a few trees and parks here and there, plus the sounds of the birds, were just enough reminders of nature to make this city feel all kinds of alive.

The church bells are another favorite sound of mine in Austin. They remind me of Florence, Italy, and bring about a general sense of community to the air. My next adventure is in Phoenix, and I’m wondering if the sounds of the city will be different there as well. For now, all I have to say, is that the variety of every city is something your senses pick up on. You can hear the difference.