Listening to a Continent Sing

the companion website to the book by Donald Kroodsma


Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, Montana

June 3, 6:15 a.m.

Sunrise at 5:41 a.m.

Download the Recording

Four songs of a Lincoln's sparrow, the first wonderfully complex and three and a half seconds long, the last three simpler and very similar to each other. Listening to only the last three songs here or all of CO-213, one might think that a male Lincoln's sparrow sings with little variety, but eventually he often reveals how he can rearrange his song elements and introduce others to produce a considerable variety of songs.


Another Lincoln's sparrow, yellow warbler, brown-headed cowbird (male song, female rattle; 0:09), sandhill crane (0:13, 0:21, 0:28), MacGillivray's warbler, two drumming ruffed grouse (0:44-0:59; you can see them in Raven-lite, the characteristic rhythm of the drum down on the baseline, but I can't hear the low-frequency sounds that carry so far).


Photo by John Van de Graaff