Listening to a Continent Sing

the companion website to the book by Donald Kroodsma


Southern Illinois: Ferne Clyffe State Park, Goreville

May 24, 3:00 P.M.

Sunrise at 5:37 a.m.

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A northern parula in dawn mode, chipping between songs. Two complex phrases start the song, followed by four ascending raspy notes: twee-de-de-de twee-de-de-de zhree zhreee zhreee zhreee; he hustles through the twee-de-de-de notes and lingers on the zhreee notes. A western bird, to be sure, given that we are far west of the transition zone in Kentucky, and I wonder whether the dawn songs of the western birds are also consistently different from those of the eastern birds.

Compare VA-46 if you wish to hear a daytime singer.


Barely heard above the wind: eastern wood-pewee, Carolina wren.


Photo by John Van de Graaff