Listening to a Continent Sing

the companion website to the book by Donald Kroodsma


Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge, Stevensville, Montana

June 8, 5:47 a.m.

Sunrise at 5:44 a.m.

Download the Recording

A light rain doesn't stop this willow flycatcher from perching out in the open and singing.

In the first two 30-second segments (see KY-82 for description of the songs):

Creet, FITZ-bew, FITZ-bew, creet, FITZ-bew, FIZZ-bew, creet, FITZ-bew, creet

FITZ-bew, creet, FITZ-bew, creet, FIZZ-bew, creet, FITZ-bew, creet, FITZ-bew

I find curious the relative abundance of the three sounds. Eight creet's, eight FITZ-bew's, but only two FIZZ-bew's. He has choices, I know, as to how he uses his three songs, though I don't know why he would sing more of one than another.

I wonder what he does in minutes 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 here? Be my guest as you chart them out and try to determine for yourself what he's up to.


Rain. Yellow-headed blackbirds, yellow warbler, marsh wren, tree swallow, red-winged blackbird, ducks, song sparrow, American wigeon, ring-necked pheasant.


Photo by Brian L. Sullivan