Introduction: Exposure to nature can restore positive mood and attention after stress or fatigue (Kaplan & Kaplan, 1989; Ulrich, 1983). Restoration literature has largely focused on visual experience of nature, but recent studies have indicated the importance of audio stimuli in such environments. For example, Kjellgren and Buhrkall (2010) noted that participants missed natural audio stimuli such as birdsong when absent, and Alvarsson et al. (2010) found that bird and water sounds together were rated as more pleasant than sounds from the built environment. Pleasant music has been shown to act positively on mood and performance (e.g. Thompson et al., 2001), and research into such effects as a function of natural sounds will enhance multisensory understanding of restorative environments. However, the authors are not aware of any published studies on perceptions of isolated birdsong as restorative, or how such perceptions and preferences may vary between different bird calls. These questions will be addressed through an exploratory qualitative study, in the context of a larger project examining quantitative restoration from stress and fatigue after exposure to preferred and non-preferred bird calls (cf. Alvarsson et al., 2010; Jancke et al., 2011; Goel & Etwaroo, 2006). It is expected that birdsong will be related to positive perceptions of the natural environment, and that preference and perceptions of restoration, as well as familiarity and symbolic associations, will vary between different bird calls. Method: The research questions above will be addressed via semi-structured interviews. Topics will include: Sounds positively and negatively associated with nature, including birdsong, and psychological states generated by them Preference or non-preference for natural sounds, including different bird calls Restorative perceptions of different bird calls (after imagined stress or fatigue) Familiarity and associations with different bird calls Findings from this study are expected in early 2012. Implications: Examination of the unique contribution of audio stimuli to subjective restoration will more accurately represent sensory experience in restorative environments than study of visual stimuli alone. This will enable prevailing theories of restoration (e.g. Kaplan & Kaplan, 1989; Ulrich, 1983), which focus heavily on visual experience, to be tested in additional modalities. Study of responses to and associations with natural sounds may also clarify whether restoration is a product of the symbolic or perceptual qualities of a stimulus, or both. The project also aims to increase public engagement with nature via empirical evidence of the effects of natural sounds such as birdsong on mood and performance. This work will strengthen links between ecologists, conservationists, and social scientists, and support evidence-based policy for conservation and heritage groups