Listening to a Continent Sing

the companion website to the book by Donald Kroodsma


Southern Illinois: Shawnee National Forest

May 25, 8:30 a.m.

Sunrise at 5:37 a.m.

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A warbling vireo sings from the treetop beside the road in Eddyville. Feel the variety in his songs, the second different from the first, the third from the second, the fourth from the third, and on and on. Feel, too, the undulating nature of his song, how he rises and falls on his three-second roller coaster, though the hills and valleys are different in each song. In fine warbling vireo fashion, he ends every song on an emphatic high SQUIRT!--as in the mnemonic If I SEES you, I will SEIZE you, and I'll SQUEEZE you till you SQUIRT!

You can compare the songs of this eastern warbling vireo with those of his western cousins: WY-242, OR-325, OR-365.


Mourning dove, downy woodpecker whinny (at 0:11), northern cardinal, house finch, European starling, red-bellied woodpecker, chimney swift, yellow-billed cuckoo


Photo by Wil Hershberger


Photo by John Van de Graaff