Listening to a Continent Sing

the companion website to the book by Donald Kroodsma


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

May 23, 9:10 a.m.

Sunrise at 5:37 a.m.

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Acorn woodpeckers among the oak trees, coming and going, calling, and eventually one drums (0:47), though weakly, at the relatively slow rate of 16 beats/second.

Single calls might sound a bit like thhwaack; when two birds are calling, listen to how their individual voices differ. The call more befitting their clown-like faces is a laughing, two-syllable whack-a, whack-a (0:25).


Distant western meadowlark, European starlings, American goldfinches


Photo by John Van de Graaff