Listening to a Continent Sing

the companion website to the book by Donald Kroodsma


The High Rockies: St. Elmo, Colorado

June 15, 5:54 a.m.

Sunrise at 5:33 a.m.

Download the Recording

Tseee tseee tseee tsee tsee tse tse tew tew tew tew tew tew te te te tee-LETT tee-LETT tee-LETT tee-LETT tee-LETT. All 17 songs in this four and a half minute recording!

These are special songs beginning high and thin in a squeaky voice, squeezing out two or so seconds of tseee notes that gradually shorten, then plummeting to the lower tew tew te te notes, which also shorten and drop in frequency, before ending in the galloping, emphatic tee-LETT tee-LETT series. It is a masterpiece!

That broad-tailed hummingbird in the background? 44 beats of his wings/second, matching some earlier calculations. Nice.


Broad-tailed hummingbird, mountain chickadee.


Photo by Wil Hershberger