Listening to a Continent Sing

the companion website to the book by Donald Kroodsma


Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

June 1, 6:14 a.m.

Sunrise at 5:45 a.m.

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Half an hour after sunrise, a western tanager in a highly repetitious mood. The first song contains five phrases, a b c d e; the remaining eight songs are all the same, consisting only of the phrases a b c d, without the e on the end. That seems rather repetitious for a tanager, as quite often only the first two phrases are the same, the rest of the song varying in unpredictable ways.

How rapidly does he deliver his phrases? An average of 2.3 phrases/second, much faster than a dawn singer (e.g., OR-246).


Yellow warbler, American robin, pine siskin (nice song about 0:41), chipping sparrow, another western tanager.


Photo by John Van de Graaff