Listening to a Continent Sing

the companion website to the book by Donald Kroodsma


Arapaho National Wildlife Refuge, Walden, Colorado

June 9, 6:30 a.m.

Sunrise at 5:33 a.m.

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A sage thrasher at dawn. For openers, he offers a song that takes a minute and ten seconds to finish. He pauses at most ten seconds, and he's singing again, but this time for only half a minute. His longest song is about a minute and 20 seconds.

I don't hear a lot of mimicry, though every once in a while there's a California quail (0:32, 0:45, 1:23, 1:48, 3:34, 6:45--and more, I'm sure, as I made no concerted effort to find them all; perhaps you can find others). At 3:18 there's a nice imitation of a female red-winged blackbird's call. Almost certainly a willet at 5:00.


Another sage thrasher, Wilson's snipe, western meadowlark, American coot, Brewer's sparrow, sora, yellow-headed blackbird, savannah sparrow.


Photo by John Van de Graaff