The Singing Life of Birds: The Art and Science of Listening to Birdsong

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Feb 17, 2015 - Nature - 496 pages
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Listen to birds sing as you’ve never listened before, as the world-renowned birdsong expert Donald Kroodsma takes you on personal journeys of discovery and intrigue. Read stories of wrens and robins, thrushes and thrashers, warblers and whip-poor-wills, bluebirds and cardinals, and many more bird. Learn how each acquires its songs, how songs vary from bird to bird and place to place, how some birds' singing is especially beautiful or ceaseless or complex, how some do not sing at all, how the often quiet female has the last word, and why.
Hear a baby wren and the author’s own daughter babble as each learns its local dialect. Listen to the mockingbird by night and by day and count how many different songs he can sing. Marvel at the exquisite harmony in the duet of a wood thrush as he uses his two voice boxes to accompany himself. Feel the extraordinary energy in the songs just before sunrise as dawn’s first light sweeps across this singing planet. Hear firsthand the unmistakable evidence that there are not one but two species of marsh wrens and two species of winter wrens in North America. Learn not only to hear but to see birds sing in the form of sonagrams, as these visual images dance across the pages while you listen to the accompanying audio.
Using your trained ears and eyes, you can begin your own journeys of discovery. Listen anew to birds in your backyard and beyond, exploring the singing minds of birds as they tell all that they know. Join Kroodsma not only in identifying but in identifying with singing birds, connecting with nature’s musicians in a whole new way.
Please note: this ebook includes embedded audio files. You will only be able to access these files from a device that supports embedded audio.
 
 

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User Review  - snash - LibraryThing

The Singing Life of Birds is a summary of thirty years worth of study on bird singing. Glancing ahead at the book, I thought it looked way more detailed than I would care about and I would just skim ... Read full review

Contents

2 HOW SONGS DEVELOP
How and Why Songs Vary from Place to Place
4 EXTREMES OF MALE SONG
5 THE HOUR BEFORE THE DAWN
6 SHE ALSO SINGS
Back Matter
Back Flap
Back Cover
Spine
Copyright

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About the author (2015)

A retired biology professor at the University of Massachusetts, Donald Kroodsma's work on bird song is legendary. His book The Singing Life of Birds won the 2006 John Burroughs Medal Award and the American Birding Association's Robert Ridgway Distinguished Service Award for excellence in publications pertaining to field ornithology. In 2003 the American Ornithologits' Union called him the "reigning authority on the biology of avian vocal behavior." Kroodsma received his Ph.D. at Oregon State University and has traveled all over North and South America researching bird song. He is a Fellow of the American Ornithologists' Union and the Animal Behavior Society and has published hundreds of academic and popular articles.

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