Listening to a Continent Sing

the companion website to the book by Donald Kroodsma


Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

June 4, 6:17 a.m.

Sunrise at 5:40 a.m.

Download the Recording

I walked up to the basin for the Splendid Geyser, but a park volunteer at the nearby Daisy Geyser animatedly waved me over. He told me that Daisy was about to erupt, it would last about four minutes, and it would sound like a steam engine as it died away.

Quickly I turned on the recorder and waited, less than a few seconds, it turned out, for the geyser to blow. Initially, water was thrown 50 to 75 feet into the air, off at an angle safely away from us, but then it settled down some.

First hints of the giant steam engine that lies underground were heard after half a minute, and there was no doubt by four minutes (especially 3:45 to 4:00).


White-crowned sparrow, ruby-crowned kinglet, but heard only after the geyser has quieted.

Daisy Geyser

NPS Photo by Haselton