Listening to a Continent Sing

the companion website to the book by Donald Kroodsma


Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia

May 21, 8:09 P.M.

Sunset at 8:26 P.M.

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Wood thrushes use their sharp whit whit notes upon awaking and going to roost. These two birds are going to roost, and at first they call sharply, whit-whit-whit, back and forth, engaging in some intense pre-roost ritual. Over the nearly five minute interaction here, one bird stays near, but the second retreats off to the right, the interaction fading and surging repeatedly, surging with sharp whit-whit-whit calls, fading with softer pup-pup-pup calls, with an occasional incomplete song thrown in (e.g., 2:44), until all is quiet.


The quiet of dusk on the Blue Ridge Parkway. A pileated woodpecker calls (2:30).


Photo by John Van de Graaff