Listening to a Continent Sing

the companion website to the book by Donald Kroodsma


Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

June 4, 5:31 a.m.

Sunrise at 5:40 a.m.

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A mountain chickadee calls initially, offering its classic tsick-a-dee-dee (0:10), then sings its pure tonal whistles: be-bee-bee, be-bee-bee-bee, be-bee-bee-ba-baa, with the ending ba-baa lower in frequency, and other combinations. One could think of his complete song throughout as be-bee-bee-bee-ba-baa, with many of his renditions simply incomplete, omitting various notes.

How he thinks of his songs is, of course, a different matter.


Ruby-crowned kinglet, hermit thrush, dark-eyed junco, chipping sparrow, yellow-rumped warbler. The Firehole River and the general hiss of bubbling pools in the Upper Basin.


Photo by Robert Royse