Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel
In our modern age, filled with the harsh sounds of sirens, leaf blowers and loud radios, it’s a welcome relief to hear the joyful sounds of birds celebrating the wonders of life.
Now, thanks to Donald Kroodsma, you can hear those birdsongs in his remarkable book (with recordings) Listening to A Continent Sing: Birdsong by Bicycle from the Atlantic to the Pacific.
Kroodsma, a professor of biology at the University of Massachusetts, set out on a 10-week/10-state, 5,000 mile journey with his son, David, bicycling on the TransAmerica Bicycle Trail from Virginia to Oregon, recording the songs of the birds they encountered along the way.
And what a pantheon of sounds it is – 381 recordings – of every type of bird from sparrows and wrens…
to talkative jays and hooting owls.
Riding on deserted country roads and well-traveled thoroughfares, from early in the morning until the fall of night, the bicycling duo listened to and chronicled the birds of a nation.
The book is beautifully formatted with illustrations depicting the scenery and birds spied during their travels. (QR codes embedded in the pages bring the birds to audio life when scanned.)
SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel are amazed at the magnitude of the book.
Like Sacajawea interpreting the Shoshone Indian language for explorers Lewis and Clark, Donald Kroodsma has archived and interpreted the language of birds – opening a wondrous door on the sounds of nature for us all to enjoy.
This is a father-son road trip not to be missed.
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