Midday temperatures in southeast Arizona soar above 100 degrees during the month of July. But relief is coming. A summer monsoon refreshes the Sonoran Desert like a second spring. Grass grows lush, wildflowers spring forth, and birds sing. Cassin’s Sparrows sing their plaintive phrases almost nonstop. Botteri’s Sparrows add their distinctive sputters and trills. And a Rufous-winged Sparrow — like the one pictured here — voices its gentle melody.
The sounds heard in this episode were recorded by Gordon Hempton and provided courtesy of QuietPlanet.com.
Sparrows Sing in the Arizona Monsoon
Written by Bob Sundstrom
This is BirdNote.
[Arizona desert summer soundscape just before the thunderstorm]
In July in Southeast Arizona, midday temperatures soar above 100 degrees. A cicada’s high-pitched whine adds an edge to the searing heat. [Intense whine of cicadas in Arizona desert heat]
But relief is coming. [Lightning and thunder]
The monsoon season begins. Winds from the south draw tropical moisture northward into the Sonoran Desert. Moist air colliding with intense heat and mountainous terrain breeds epic thunderstorms. [Continue thunderstorm fading to rain and aftermath]
Rainfall rejuvenates the arid land. Grass grows lush, wildflowers spring forth, gullies once dusty now rush with water. [Rushing rain water]
And birds sing. [Cassin’s Sparrow song] Cassin’s Sparrows have waited for the late summer rains to begin their courtship. Now the males sing their plaintive phrases almost nonstop. [Cassin’s Sparrow song] Botteri’s Sparrows add their distinctive sputters and trills. And a Rufous-winged Sparrow voices its gentle melody. [Rufous-winged Sparrow song] [Thunderstorm and rain]
The summer monsoon refreshes the desert world like a second spring. [Cassin’s Sparrow song]
The soundscapes featured in today’s show were recorded by Gordon Hempton and provided courtesy of QuietPlanet.com. Listen again at BirdNote.org.
Desert thunder birds + high-pitched whine of insects + rainy desert thunder recorded by Gordon Hempton of QuietPlanet.com. Also, sounds from Hempton’s Essentials – thunder #7 and rain storm aftermath #15.
Bird sounds provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Song of Cassin’s Sparrow  recorded G.A. Keller; Song of Botteri’s Sparrow  recorded by C.A.Marantz; Rufous-winged Sparrow  recorded by C.A. Marantz.
BirdNote’s theme music was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler.
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Chris Peterson
© 2015 Tune In to Nature.org July 2018/2019 Narrator: Michael Stein
ID# sonorandesert-01-2013-07-26 sonorandesert-01