Listening to a Continent Sing

the companion website to the book by Donald Kroodsma


Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia

May 21, 5:30 a.m.

Sunrise at 6:00 a.m.

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A hooded warbler in dawn song, with an occasional chip note between songs (e.g., between first and second songs). It's not the simple weeta-weeta-weetio of his daytime performance, repeated over and over; instead, he uses his "other" songs here at dawn. This male's dawn song repertoire apparently consists of three different songs, used in this sample minute in the following sequence: A B C A A A B C C C A B C B B.

Those three songs are difficult to distinguish by ear, because they're all of the same general quality, and sometimes he leaves off a note on the end of the song, completely changing its rhythm. Though that makes it tough for our ears to identify the three songs, it does add some variety to the performance.

You can hear the daytime singing of this same male in VA-80


Eastern towhee, chestnut-sided warbler, gray catbird. A bit of cow and dog from the farm below.


Photo by John Van de Graaff