The Thrill of the Trill: Capturing an Insect Symphony

In the mornings, as I am zipping from point count to point count, I generally have the radio tuned to National Public Radio if I can get reception. A few days ago I was pleasantly surprised when I turned on the radio and out of the speakers buzzed the loud drone of the 17-year Cicada. Because I had just received the The Songs of Insects by Lang Elliott and Wil Hershberger from Amy over at WildBird on the Fly, I immediately recognized the sound and got very excited about hearing the interview. Unfortunately it was almost over and I didn’t have enough time between the point counts to listen to the rest, so I looked it up on NPR and found the page. It’s a great interview and I would recommend listening to it.I would also recommend buying the book by clicking on the cover image, it is beautiful and full color, giving 2 pages to each of 77 species of crickets, katydids, grasshoppers as well as an accompaniment CD with recordings of each insect. I was really struck by the large, high quality photographs of each species that is featured on each page and the helpful description of the songs. You can learn little tidbits such as how to tell the temperature just by listening to the Snowy Tree Cricket, or which insect can set off a car alarm with its loud song. This is yet another of Lang Elliott’s amazing resources for finding out about more of the world around us, focusing on sounds.

And many thanks to Amy for giving me this terrific book.