Listening to a Continent Sing

the companion website to the book by Donald Kroodsma


Dixie Summit, Oregon

July 7, 4:40 a.m.

Sunrise at 5:19 a.m.

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I prowl the campground before sunrise, stopping beside this junco. He sings at a rapid clip during the dawn chorus, even this late in the year, delivering 18 songs each minute, all 41 songs here of the same kind.

For eight minutes and 40 seconds I stood beside him, during which he sang 161 examples of this very song type. Eventually, had I stayed long enough, I am sure that he would have switched to another song in his repertoire, but I had other birds to hear.


Western tanager in dawn song, traffic on nearby highway


Photo by Wil Hershberger