Join the Dawn Chorus on 7th May

Discover how to immerse yourself in the great symphony that is the dawn chorus, whether you’re listening on your doorstep or in the wider countryside.

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.

Urban beginnings

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!


A male blackbird in song, in Norfolk, England, UK. © David Tipling/Education Images/Universal Images Group/Getty

Birdsong hits its glorious annual peak in April and May, when the widest range of bird species throw their energy into one of our most uplifting wildlife phenomena. There are two purposes to birdsong: to attract a mate, and to hold down a territory.

Spring’s dawn chorus takes place anywhere there are birds, and is not to be missed –Simon Barnes, in his book Rewild Yourself, reckons it is the “single biggest wildlife miracle that we have in Britain.”

The RSPB is holding lots of events around the UK so if you’re near an RSPB nature reserve you check out the link here .Otherwise you could head to a woodland or park, or just outside your door, but aim for an early start of around 5am.

See the BBC Discover Wildlife Guide for lots more information about the dawn chorus

A singing song thrush perched on the top of a flowering hawthorn bush. © Sandra Standbridge/Getty