Listening to a Continent Sing

the companion website to the book by Donald Kroodsma


The High Rockies: Muddy Pass, Colorado

June 13, 5:11 a.m.

Sunrise at 5:33 a.m.

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A mystery bird when first encountered--I didn't know who he was, but eventually identified him days later as a Lincoln's sparrow. Feel the rhythm of the songs and you'll hear that all ten songs here are the same.

The song rolls through three burry notes, drops down for three notes, rises to three higher notes, and finally rises still higher for the concluding seven notes, ending on a single low note (plus or minus one note in each part of the song).


American robin, MacGillivray's warbler (e.g., loud at 0:22), sandhill cranes bugling (1:09), sapsucker drums (1:18), house wren. It was probably a red-naped sapsucker, given the aspen grove here (Williamson's sapsucker would be expected in more coniferous habitat).


Photo by John Van de Graaff


Photo by John Van de Graaff