The dawn chorus is one of life’s must do experiences – it is that moment at the very start of the day when the air is still, it is dark and the very first birds of the day begin to sing. It is less about worrying what the birds are and more about enjoying hearing the gradual cranking up of birdsong from nothing to full blast. It is a cacophony of many different species’ songs that peaks after 20 – 30 minutes before winding down to a gentle background sound.
Early morning is the best time of the day for birds to sing and best be heard by other birds of the same species. Most are males attracting female partners by singing and/or defending a patch of land, their territory, from rival males. It is where they will nest and find food for their young.
In tropical countries female birds also sing to attract males and defend their own patches of land. In the UK some female birds also sing, including female robins to defend winter territories from other robins. Singing is a stressful exercise for birds, although relaxing for us to listen and enjoy.
There is a wonderful pattern to the dawn chorus – the first birds to sing are the robins, blackbirds and song thrushes. They have large eyes and even in low light can then get on with finding food after singing at first light; they are looking for worms, woodlice and beetles which scurry away under logs and leaves once it gets light. Other birds then follow such as wrens, blackcaps and great tits. Those birds that like more of a lie in include house sparrows and finches such as chaffinches and greenfinches. They feed on seeds and don’t need to worry about their food scurrying away when it gets light.
During March, April and early May, many birds carry on singing throughout the day allowing for an ambient background birdsong we can enjoy. If you prefer a lie in, our early birdsong walks take advantage of this opportunity to still hear birdsong without having to get up at first light.
You can join Ed for either a Dawn Chorus or Early Morning Bird Walk from the hotel. More details can be found here. After the Dawn Chorus walks you will return to the hotel for breakfast. Whilst we highly recommend the Dawn Chorus Walks, they are very early, so the Early Morning Bird Walks provide a suitable alternative.