Listening to a Continent Sing


5 in stock


Author: Donald Kroodsma
Format: Paperback
Pages: 336
Dimensions: 6.13″ x 9.25″


Join birdsong expert Donald Kroodsma on a ten-week, ten-state bicycle journey as he travels with his son from the Atlantic to the Pacific, lingering and listening to our continent sing as no one has before. On remote country roads, over terrain vast and spectacular, from dawn to dusk and sometimes through the night, you will gain a deep appreciation for the natural symphony of birdsong many of us take for granted. Come along and marvel at how expressive these creatures are as Kroodsma leads you west across nearly five thousand miles—at a leisurely pace that enables a deep listen.

Listening to a Continent Sing is also a guided tour through the history of a young nation and the geology of an ancient landscape, and an invitation to set aside the bustle of everyday life to follow one’s dreams. It is a celebration of flowers and trees, rocks and rivers, mountains and prairies, clouds and sky, headwinds and calm, and of local voices and the people you will meet along the way. It is also the story of a father and son deepening their bond as they travel the slow road together from coast to coast.

Beautifully illustrated throughout with drawings of birds and scenes and featuring QR codes that link to audio birdsong, this poignant and insightful book takes you on a travel adventure unlike any other—accompanied on every leg of your journey by birdsong.


  • One of The Seattle Times 8 Books to Put under a Bird-Lover’s Tree 2014
  • One of the StarTribune/Lifestyle’s Best Birding Books of 2014
  • One of the Birder’s Library Best Bird Books of 2014
  • One of the Birdbooker Report’s Best Bird Books of 2014

Reviews & Endorsements

“One of the fascinating aspects of both the book and the recordings is that, while chasing after birdsong, Mr. Kroodsma captures so much other detail as well….Listening to a Continent Sing, along with its website, is both an inspiration and a bundle of gifts waiting to be unwrapped.”–Julie Zickefoose, Wall Street Journal
“In its refreshing mix of history, linguistics, biology, and ethology,Listening to a Continent Singbrings back the joy and enthusiasm for scientific pursuits that can sometimes wane with time.”–Helena J. Barr, Science
“Kroodsma delivers a continent-wide perspective on birdsong, weaving behavior, habitat, and evolution into a fabric that is rolled out as he and his son make the East-West journey by bicycle. There is no better guide to take you on this journey, as no one has the breadth of knowledge and field experience with birdsong that Kroodsma has.”—Greg Budney, Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Author Information

Donald Kroodsma is professor emeritus of ornithology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and a world-renowned authority on birdsong.

Additional information

Weight1.6 lbs
Dimensions9.25 × 6.12 × .85 in

Field Guide

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