Listening to a Continent Sing

the companion website to the book by Donald Kroodsma


Quivira National Wildlife Refuge, Stafford, Kansas

June 4, 5:14 a.m.

Sunrise at 6:11 a.m.

Download the Recording

With a western kingbird in dawn song off to the right (listen with stereo headphones), an eastern kingbird joins in. He sputters and stutters, t't'tzeer,t't'tzeer,t'tzeetzeeTZEET, t't'tzeer,t't'tzeer, t'tzeetzeeTZEET, repeatedly, over and over.

With the two kingbirds side by side, their songs make a nice comparison. Even though the males of each species are about the same weight (about 40 grams), the eastern song is much higher than that of the western.


Western kingbird, ring-necked pheasant, great horned owl (0:32), pied-billed grebe.


Photo by John Van de Graaff