Night-Singing Birds: Species and Their Songs

Night-Singing Birds: Species and Their Songs

Monday, 22nd October 2018

No-one can have failed to notice the night’s drawing in but this doesn’t mean the end of birdsong.

Although birdsong is normally connected with daytime birds there are a handful of exceptions.

Birds such as Nightingales, Corncrakes, and nightjars are migratory birds that will sing during the summer months at night. However, there are some true nocturnal species like reed and sedge warblers that sing all night long.

Bird singing on a tree branch.

Birds sing until the last hours of daylight but it is easy to see how birdsong may extend into the night. Artificial lighting is a contributing factor which causes this.

This often happens with dunnocks and song thrushes but the unequalled king of night-time singing is robins.

Dunnock perched on a branch.

Robins love to forage in dim light and will continue to search for food well after darkness.

They are very active during low light and can be set off in full song by floodlight and streetlights, they can also sing all year round.

A plump robin with a bright orange feathered chest.

As a consequence, this has resulted in many reports of nightingales singing in the middle of a winter’s night, but it has actually turned out to be robins.

There are also other triggers that will set them off such as thunder and fireworks or even a sudden shaking of its tree.

So if you do hear a bird singing at night the chances are it will be a robin!

Written by Angela and Chris

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