Listening to a Continent Sing

the companion website to the book by Donald Kroodsma


Climbing the Rockies: juniper habitat, Temple Canyon Park, Canyon City, Colorado

June 8, 5:04 a.m.

Sunrise at 5:37 a.m.

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Just 10 yards away, a gray flycatcher sings from low in a juniper, a yard or so off the ground.

His two songs are obvious: chu-WIP, chu-WIP, chu-WIP, teeah, with two to five rough chu-WIPs before he seems to complete his thoughts with the higher, tonal teeah, and then he starts all over.

He sings at the rate of about two songs every three seconds, a song every second and a half, about 42 songs in this one-minute sample.

Three neighboring gray flycatchers sing in the predawn darkness here in Temple Canyon: CO-195, CO-196, CO-197.


Chipping sparrow, American robin, spotted towhee.


Photo by Brian L. Sullivan