PRAGUE - The live sounds of singing birds, croaking frogs and hedgehogs burrowing into foliage have become a surprise hit on Czech radio.
Broadcasting from a forest in the southwest of the Czech Republic, Slow Radio uses microphones set up in a tree to record the sounds of the forest and broadcast them via a 24-hour livestream.
"The toughest task was finding the right place," said Vaclav Nyvlt, a technology reporter with the news site iDnes.cz, who dreamt up the online station with three other technicians.
"In most places where you have the combination of birds, electricity and internet, there's usually civilisation, a road, railway or a factory.
"In the end, we asked ornithologists for help finding a site and they obliged," Nyvlt told AFP on Wednesday.
He however refused to divulge the location of the microphones due to concerns that curious internet users could disturb broadcasts.
The top-quality microphones are connected via a 100-metre (yard) cable leading to a shed containing all the broadcast equipment.
After a week on the air, the radio station can already boast 1,600 listeners at peak time, Nyvlt said.
Listeners commenting on the station's website praised its high fidelity sound.
"It's beautiful. I just had to close all the windows as the squawking birds outside disturbed the experience," said Zdenek Karlik.
Nyvlt said he heard one listener say they thought a bee was in their room when what they actually heard was buzzing from the forest.
But not everyone is excited.
"Isn't it a bit weird to close the window so the birds outside won't interfere with birdsong on your radio? The world has gone crazy," said listener Karel Prochazka.