Listening to a Continent Sing

the companion website to the book by Donald Kroodsma


Prairie State Park, Mindenmines, Missouri

June 2, 11:27 a.m.

Sunrise at 5:58 a.m.

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A Henslow's sparrow perches atop a small forb on the Regal Prairie trail at Prairie State Park, proudly, I would like to think, offering his half-second masterpiece to all who would hear. Tsilick doesn't do it justice, or hiccup, especially when the song is slowed down so that we can hear the details that the birds themselves no doubt hear (see MO-165).

I can hear the complaints: Over two minutes for this singer? Really? Why not play just a few songs and then move on to something more exciting? It's not in my nature to do so.


Northern bobwhite, dickcissel, another Henslow's sparrow, yellow-breasted chat.


Photo by Wil Hershberger