Listening to a Continent Sing

the companion website to the book by Donald Kroodsma


Western Kentucky: Clay

May 23, 6:55 a.m.

Sunrise at 5:34 a.m.

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A Henslow's sparrow, blown about in the wind on a dead stalk from last year's growth, singing his heart out. It's a song that has prompted some to use terms like "pathetic," but I know better. I inspect the sonagram of this fine sparrow, seeing the sliding whistles that begin up about 10,000 Hz and drop down to 4,000.

Showing no mercy, I include all 32 of his songs over nearly two minutes.


Prairie warbler, indigo bunting, and the hiss of a windy day.


Photo by Wil Hershberger