Listening to a Continent Sing

the companion website to the book by Donald Kroodsma


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

June 15, 8:22 a.m.

Sunrise at 5:27 a.m.

Download the Recording

A Hutton's vireo in peak form, repeating one of his songs over and over at the astonishing clip of almost one song per second, for over four minutes, only two minutes of which are included here. Zu-wee, zu-wee, zu-wee, zu-wee . . .

How unlike any other vireo I know, most of whom place a premium on the next song always being different from the one just sung . . . except the white-eyed vireo, but his songs are more complex, more exciting, less inviting of the monotony that the Hutton's vireo seems to offer.

The Hutton's vireo seems to have the mindset much like that of a loggerhead shrike, who also endlessly and rapidly repeats one of his many songs before offering another.

Small songbirds flit about, 26-30 wing beats/second.


Swainson's thrush, black-headed grosbeak, chipping sparrow, brown-headed cowbird, western wood-pewee . . . and flies.


Photo by Brian L. Sullivan