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Spring Rain Refreshes a Desert

Springtime in the aridlands, and the birds are tuning up!

Springtime in the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park in southeastern California. Cacti and wildflowers glisten with raindrops, and birds begin to sing. A House Finch, a Bewick's Wren, a Cactus Wren, a Mourning Dove, and this Costa's Hummingbird all add their sounds.

The soundscapes featured in today's show were recorded by Gordon Hempton and provided courtesy of

Full Transcript


Spring Rain Refreshes the Desert - Anza Borrego

Written by Bob Sundstrom

This is BirdNote.

[Sound of rain falling]

A light April rain falls in the Anza Borrego Desert, in southeast California. Cacti and wildflowers glisten with raindrops, and birds begin to sing. [Anza Borrego finch and wren sounds]

The sweet, jumbled notes of a House Finch rise above the sound of the rain. [Song of House Finch] A Bewick’s Wren buzzes then breaks into exuberant song. [Bewick’s wren sings]

A Cactus Wren joins the chorus, standing atop a barrel cactus, calling gruffly…. [Cactus Wren notes, a harsh 5-7 note rapid sequence]

A Costa’s Hummingbird hovers at a cactus blossom, beating the air with thrumming wings [hummingbird wing sounds]. A Mourning Dove coos [coos].

Spring rains rejuvenate the desert. [Sound of rain falling]

Sounds for today’s BirdNote were recorded by Gordon Hempton. You’ll find a link to his work on I’m Michael Stein.


Sounds of the desert recorded at Anza Borrego Desert State Park [California] by Gordon Hempton,  Featured call of Morning Dove provided by Macaulay Library at Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology, recorded by W.R. Fish.
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Chris Peterson
© 2015 Tune In to          May 2017     Narrator: Michael Stein

ID# desert-01-2011-04-07

Sights & Sounds

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