Listening to a Continent Sing

the companion website to the book by Donald Kroodsma


Highlands of western Virginia: Mountain Lake

May 23, 6:59 a.m.

Sunrise at 6:08 a.m.

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The chickadees at high elevations here in Virginia are often black-capped chickadees, and their typical hey-sweetie gives them away. Two birds are singing, one in the foreground, one in the background, the background bird also calling chick-a-dee-dee, the slower version that is again typical of black-capped chickadees, not Carolina chickadees.


The daytime song of a Blackburnian warbler actually dominates this recording (as at 0:10), and other background birds are an American robin and northern parula, but it is the black-capped chickadees that are featured. The patter of raindrops can be heard throughout, with the rain intensifying at about a minute, when the chickadees have receded into the distance but the Blackburnian Warbler sings on.


Photo by John Van de Graaff


Photo by John Van de Graaff