Listening to a Continent Sing

the companion website to the book by Donald Kroodsma


Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, Montana

June 3, 5:02 a.m.

Sunrise at 5:41 a.m.

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In the singing of this gray catbird are so many hints of other birds that he's been listening to. Included are several examples of northern flicker Klee-yer! notes (e.g., 0:47, 1:20, 2:00), killdeer calls (e.g., 2:34), and American robin calls (e.g., 1:23).

Even more impressive are what sounds like a complete song of a song sparrow song (2:01-2:03; a partial song at 2:59), a perfect least flycatcher cheBEK song (0:01, 0:44, and more, e.g., 3:35), a common yellowthroat wichity song (0:15, 1:04, 3:55), and a brown-headed cowbird flight whistle (4:39).


American robin, frogs, yellow warbler, cow elk, bubbling brook.


Photo by John Van de Graaff