Listening to a Continent Sing

the companion website to the book by Donald Kroodsma


Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

May 31, 6:24 a.m.

Sunrise at 5:45 a.m.

Download the Recording

A fine Teton symphony!

The dark-eyed junco sings with metronomic quality, the same song over and over for five and a half minutes. A junco is capable of singing several different songs, so why's he stuck on the same song for so long?

A MacGillivray's warbler sings throughout this selection (e.g., 0:01, then not heard by itself again until 1:18), and the last three songs are his. Equally persistent are the red-breasted nuthatches.

And how fine is the drumming by the sapsuckers! At least three individuals are involved, as heard beginning at 3:54. Which species? Either red-naped sapsucker or Williamson's sapsucker, according to the range maps, but after listening to a sample of drums for each species on Cornell's Macaulay Library website, I conclude that they are most likely red-naped sapsuckers.


MacGillivray's warbler, Canada goose, red-breasted nuthatch, symphony of sapsucker drums by different individuals, ruby-crowned kinglet


Photo by Wil Hershberger