This Sunday 3rd of May is International Dawn Chorus Day and a wonderful reminder to celebrate the daily treat of a birdsong choir.
Starting just before sunrise at around 4.30 am, early birds take full advantage of the still, quiet air to sing and attract a mate – or warn off rivals from their territory! But no need to rise at this time as the chorus will continue until about 7 am, and every morning through until June.
Even if you don’t have a garden, you can still open your windows and let the birdsong in. Allow natures alarm clock lift your spirits and listen out for birds you may be able to hear as part of your local dawn chorus, including;
- Blackcap – a warbling verse
- Dunnock – fast and squeaky bursts
- Robin – short, laid-back verses with a ‘liquid’ quality
- Song thrush – rich and confident calls
- Willow warbler – a soft, gentle whistle
- Wren – packed, bold and loud
- Chiffchaff – helpfully sounds like ‘chiff chaff’
- Skylark – a pleasant burble sometimes minutes long
- Great tit – a two-note ‘tee-cher tee-cher’ call
- Woodpigeon – a wonderfully recognisable ‘coo’ call
- Cuckoo – the males’ recognisable ‘cuck-oo’
- Nightingale – high, low and rich notes
You may even be able to hear spring migrants including swifts and swallows who have flown across continents to get to the UK.
The RSPB has also created a handy bird song ID playlist to help you identify some of the common birds you’ll find in your garden or local area.
If you’d like to attract birds to your garden there are lots of ideas on the RSPB website, including putting out suitable food scraps, hanging bird boxes or even making a birdbath from an upturned bin lid. Join in with the RSPB Dawn Chorus celebrations on social media using the hashtag #DawnChorusDay – and tune in to RSPB BirdSong Radio wherever you are.
Main image: Song thrush (Chris Gomersall – RSPB)