Listening to a Continent Sing

the companion website to the book by Donald Kroodsma


Willamette Valley, William L. Finley National Wildlife Refuge, Oregon

May 24, 9:09 a.m.

Sunrise at 5:36 a.m.

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He's known for having a song full of Z's, this black-throated gray warbler. I hear this male's version as buzZEE buzZEE buzZEE buzZEE ZEE, with four identical buzZEE song phrases followed by a higher-pitched ZEE. Hear how the song builds, too, the first buzZEE being rather soft, the last often the loudest, before the intense ZEE on the end. Eight songs in a minute and 20 seconds, at the daytime rate of six songs per minute.


Black-headed grosbeak, western wood-pewee, spotted towhee, lazuli bunting, purple finch, song sparrow, Bewick's wren.


Photo by John Van de Graaff