The birdsong of spring

The birdsong of spring

Spring is a great time of year. It’s the return of many things including spring flowers like daffodils, crocuses, and tulips.

But we like the return of the dawn chorus the best. Between the months of March and July, our feathered friends become our alarm clocks and sing to attract a mate.

The longer hours of daylight turns male birds into a breeding mode with the likes of robins and great tits being amongst the first to start singing. By the time we get to May and June then we are at the peak of the dawn chorus season.

About an hour before sunrise the first birds begin to sing and as the weak light of dawn is a dangerous time to go looking for food, then it’s the best time to find a mate.

At this time of day, the air is often very still and birdsong can carry up to 20 times as far but as the skies lighten and food becomes easier to find then birds fly off in search of food and the dawn chorus comes to an end.

When birds sing it is hard work and uses up their food reserves, therefore, it is usually the strongest and best-fed males that produce the most spectacular song. Female birds are instantly attracted to the beautiful song of a strong male as these are likely to raise robust chicks.

Baby birds in the nest

Once the female has chosen her mate the male bird sings less often. But a male bird that repeatedly sings late into the season, has usually not chosen a mate and will remain single for that year.

Written by Angela and Chris


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