Hello all! I'm working on a film set in Iraq. I've done some research but I'm having a hard time finding out what the natural environment would sound like realistically in regards to animal and insect life. I know what the desert sounds like here - but i imagine it may be quite different there. Is it quiet with few insects at night, or is it deafening, is the day quiet because animals and insects are avoiding the sun or is it full of life? (that sort of thing).

If anyone has any experience or thoughts, I would greatly appreciate the knowledge - thank you!

3 Answers 3


While I have never been before so I don't know first-hand, this may be helpful as a very general jumping-off point:


And then cross-reference that against this for some samples (ideas): http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/search

I don't know for sure regarding insects, so hopefully somebody can chime in with more experience. It may be good to check out some films and/or documentaries set out in this locales just to get some cinematic perspective (in terms of how others have played these geographic locations before). If I were to tage an educated guess though, a large majority of the racket of birds/insects would be in the morning when they wake up and are hungry (morning, like 5AM-8AM), in around bodies of water. I guess that outside of it, the activity would be relatively sparse. Again I could be wrong, I'm just going of my desert experiences.

My guess though, like with many desert soundscapes, is that at the end of the day its going to be all about the wind choices and textures and how you use them contextually.


Youtube is a great starting place for reference material for just about anything. I've found a few useful bird-centric clips from Iraq in amongst the many war-centric videos.

Bird chatter in a park: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b0j_FTTLGnU

Different birds chirping away in a tree: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hz_aojQVFnQ

Collection of photos and names of birds found in Iraq: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RvrpncLi8w4

Harsh sounds of birds for sale in a market: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKZ81gNnmUg

  • I too will wade around youtube for references to exact locations. Bird watching videos always prove useful. +1
    – Brad Dale
    Jun 26, 2012 at 17:29

Sounds like a fun project! First off Stavro offered some good links and advise. It's a good thing you're researching this, environments is so crucial. Nailing the right sound isn't always obvious. Every area of the world has it's own "typical" insect and bird sounds. I've travelled throughout the Sahara desert and it was one of the quietest outdoor areas i've ever heard. The occasional camel or bird in the distant.

I would also suggest using movies like Jarhead, Hurt Locker, etc for references.

Good luck!


  • And Three Kings! :) Jun 26, 2012 at 1:09

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