Listening to a Continent Sing

the companion website to the book by Donald Kroodsma


The High Rockies: Alma, Colorado

June 14, 5:24 a.m.

Sunrise at 5:33 a.m.

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In the predawn darkness, a hermit thrush can be elusive and skittish, and I sneak from one of his singing perches to another trying to capture him, but he never seems to settle down.

Then, when I think it is a lost cause, he lands just above me, in clear view, offering this remarkable series of songs. In the first minute alone are 22 songs, faster than a song every three seconds, near top speed for a hermit thrush. Just listen to him spring from one pitch to another.

Maybe you can pick out a distinctive song and hear him return to it 10-12 songs later? In OR-334 and OR-347 I offer suggestions on how to listen to hermit thrushes.


Mountain chickadee, ruby-crowned kinglet, Clark's nutcracker.


Photo by John Van de Graaff