Listening to a Continent Sing

the companion website to the book by Donald Kroodsma


Highlands of western Virginia: Grindstone Campground, Mt. Rogers

May 5, 6:19 a.m.

Sunrise at 6:28 am.)

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A second least flycatcher (neighbor of the male singing in VA-54) races through his song repertoire, also delivering everything he knows in just a little over a tenth of a second, in a single cheBEK. He pauses a little over half a second and dumps all he knows again, and again, and again, also at a clip of about 70 cheBEK per minute, with short bursts at the rate of nearly 90 songs/minute.

Here is the essence of his dawn performance, one cheBEK after another delivered at breakneck speed.


A second least flycatcher. Other birds heard in the background are an American robin, dark-eyed junco, mourning dove, tufted titmouse. One rather special, distant bird is a wild turkey gobbling (e.g., 0:16, 0:53).


Photo by John Van de Graaff


Photo by John Van de Graaff