Listening to a Continent Sing

the companion website to the book by Donald Kroodsma


Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge, Stevensville, Montana

June 8, 4:46 a.m.

Sunrise at 5:44 a.m.

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I meant no harm, no ill toward this osprey. I was merely standing on the road where hundreds of people stand every day, and surely they don't get this kind of treatment or this osprey would wear himself out. Perhaps it was my early arrival, standing there in the dark when few people show. Or perhaps it was my parabolic microphone that he didn't like? Whatever the reason, from his nesting or roosting platform just north of the road, he calls, at one point circling about and returning, sounding not all that happy about my presence.

Yes, he flies (1:08). I measure, about eight wing beats per second. He's a big bird.


Yellow-headed blackbird, ducks, pied-billed grebe, common yellowthroat, killdeer (1:22-1:46), Wilson's snipe winnow, a distant sora whinny (at 1:47).


Photo by John Van de Graaff