Listening to a Continent Sing

the companion website to the book by Donald Kroodsma


Bandera, Texas

April 21, 10:12 a.m.

Sunrise at 7:01 a.m.

Download the Recording

Everywhere throughout the Great Plains these birds greeted us at bridges, swirling about as we bicycled past, swirling and calling more animatedly if we stopped to look and listen more closely.

But sneak up on the colony and one hears the intimate songs of birds singing from the nest, as in this selection for ten seconds from 0:08 to 0:18, and again later. Other birds call as they swarm about the colony, all nesting beneath the bridge, this one in Texas as I just never managed to get one of these recordings from along our bicycle route.

What's the dull, pulsating roar in the background of this recording? Wing beats of cliff swallows flying about the microphone!


More cliff swallows!


Photo by Brian L. Sullivan


Photo by Brian L. Sullivan