Listening to a Continent Sing

the companion website to the book by Donald Kroodsma


Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

June 4, 5:52 a.m.

Sunrise at 5:40 a.m.

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Songs and calls of a yellow-rumped warbler, Audubon's variety. He begins with a sharp note, then two seconds later offers essentially the same two-parted song that he will repeat throughout this selection. Feel each song as it builds in intensity, taking three or four phrases before it reaches full volume, and then he trails off as he adds a few phrases of a second type on the end of the song, sounding as if he runs out of energy and enthusiasm near the end of his production. Sometimes he doesn't make it to the second part, but he still drops his volume before the end of whatever he chooses to sing (e.g., 0:45, 0:57).


Prominent are the calls and songs of a mountain chickadee and the songs of a ruby-crowned kinglet; barely heard in the distance is the song of a white-crowned sparrow. Background hiss of the Firehole River and the Upper Geyser Basin.


Photo by John Van de Graaff