Listening to a Continent Sing

the companion website to the book by Donald Kroodsma


Shenandoah Valley: Natural Bridge, Virginia

May 10, 8:30 a.m.

Sunrise at 6:13 a.m.

Download the Recording

Introduced from England during the late 1800's, they are perhaps the only non-authentic feature of current-day colonial Williamsburg, where these birds are abundant.

These particular house sparrows were one of many encounters beside the road, from Virginia to Oregon, these particular birds calling from a thicket as we rode by.

What a racket they can make, and what variety in their voices! There are chatters and chirrups and cheeps and you name it, all signifying something important to them, but their meaning to us a mystery. Any one who says these birds aren't worth listening to hasn't truly listened to them!


House finch, American robin


Photo by John Van de Graaff