Set your alarm and celebrate the dawn chorus, one of nature’s most uplifting wonders
The Wildlife Trust is here to tell us about International Dawn Chorus Day on Sunday and the birds you can listen out for, with links to their song.
A celebration of nature’s symphony
Taking place on the first Sunday of May, International Dawn Chorus Day is the worldwide celebration of nature’s greatest symphony. All across the world people rise early to revel in the sweet sound of birdsong, from rattling wrens in Rotherham to crooning cowbirds in the Caribbean. And remember you can always just open your window – and listen…
Dawn Chorus Day has grown from a small event in Birmingham in the 1980s to a global annual celebration, enjoyed in over eighty countries. You don’t need to be surrounded by countryside to enjoy nature’s symphony – cities have songbirds of their own. Beyond the cooing of pigeons you could hear the serenade of robins and blackbirds, the chatter of house sparrows and the laughing calls of herring gulls, to name just a few!
Who can I hear?
Here are some of the star performers you could hear in the dawn chorus this spring
Often the most confident voice in the dawn chorus, and one of the earliest to start singing. Listen for loud, clear verses repeated 2-4 times.
Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos) · song
Underhill Farm, Peak National Park, Staffordshire, England, United Kingdom
Another early riser, with a clear and confident voice. The beautiful song is low-pitched and given in short, fluty verses. Unlike the song thrush, blackbirds don’t repeat their verses.
Common Blackbird (Turdus merula) · song
Basildon District (near Billericay), Essex, England, United Kingdom
Like the larger thrushes, robins start singing early in the morning. The song is clear and beautiful, comprised of rippling notes and whistles. Robins are one of the few birds to sing all through winter.
European Robin (Erithacus rubecula) · song
Northaw, Herts, United Kingdom
This migrant warbler has one of the finest voices in the dawn chorus. Its song begins as a chattering warble, before breaking into louder, clearer flute-like notes.
Eurasian Blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla) · song
Beacon Hill, Northumberland, United Kingdom
One of the most easily recognised voices in the dawn chorus. The chiffchaff’s song is a repetitive “chiff chaff, chiff chaff, chiff chaff”, occasionally with an extra note mixed in.
Common Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita collybita) · male, song
Great Britain (near Edith Weston), Rutland, England, United Kingdom
The RSPB is also holding an event – you can join live at 5am – 9am here