Learning to Listen: Birds in Music and Minnesota

by Emily Reese, Minnesota Public Radio
June 16, 2014

St. Paul, Minn. — Minnesota has diverse topography, allowing a corresponding diversity in the birds that either visit or live here.

There are several different biomes in Minnesota, including deciduous forest, coniferous forest and prairie grassland.

Sharon Stiteler is my guest on Learning to Listen. Stiteler gets paid to go birding by working part-time for the National Park Service, writing books, articles, and running her own website, Birdchick.com.

I've been into birds for several years now. I'm much better at picking out a song than identifying a bird by sight in many cases. Hearing birds helps me survive Minnesota winters.

My personal favorites here in the Twin Cities? Black-capped chickadees, white-throated sparrows and goldfinches, to name only a few. Outstate, I never tire of hearing loons and the veery.

Stiteler and I talk about several species that call Minnesota home. Be sure to watch Stiteler's webseries on Birdchick; Stiteler is actually running a contest on her site right now, wherein if you can guess the secret theme to her videos, you'll be entered in a drawing to win a Swarovski spotting scope (note: Stiteler's contest is not affiliated with Minnesota Public Radio).


Haydn, String Quartet No. 39, "Bird"
Smetana Quartet
Denon 1129

Respighi, Birds: Prelude
Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
DG 437533

Sibelius, Wedding March from Language of the Birds
Lahti Symphony Orchestra, Osmo Vänskä
Bis 1912/14

Offenbach, American Eagle March
Cincinnati Pops Orchestra
Moss Music 10022

Stanford, The Bluebird
The Cambridge Singers, John Rutter
Collegium 104

Dvořák, American String Quartet, mvmt 3
Takacs Quartet
London/DECCA 430077

Vaughan Williams, Lark Ascending
London Chamber Orchestra
Virgin 90819

Grieg, Little Bird
Simax 4, played by Grieg

Vivaldi, Goldfinch
JBKogan / SPCO / 091205

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