The Dawn Chorus

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No matter where you live, if you are in the Northern Hemisphere, this is happening right about now.  I am not referring to sunrise–that happens worldwide of course.  I am referring to the dawn chorus.

You may not know the name for what I am referring to. It’s the cacophony of bird song at or even slightly before dawn this time of year.

Very few birds sing in winter, at least in my climate. I will hear what I call “the first bird of the day” ( who coincidentally also sings last at night all winter — that’s the cardinal). And there are assorted woodpeckers, wrens, chickadees, titmice, finches and sparrows. That’s about it.

Once spring arrives the robins, always a vocal bird anyway, become the first and last bird of the day. They are often joined by other mimic thrush type birds–mockingbirds, catbirds–and then there are blue jays, crows, starlings , grackles–the bird loud mouths.

At times it’s so loud it will even wake me, even with windows closed. And I am a very sound sleeper.

Why does this happen? Well, the birds aren’t saying precisely. The theories are that the birds are defending territory,  looking for mates, or both.

The next time you wake up early,  listen for the bird song. It’s a great way to start the day.

2 thoughts on “The Dawn Chorus

  1. tonytomeo May 6, 2018 / 10:17 pm

    When the swallows come back to (San Juan) Capistrano . . . they are really on their way here. What a racket!

  2. gardendaze May 7, 2018 / 5:16 am

    Wow, I am sure. I saw huge murmurations of birds–starlings I think, but I am not sure because we were driving–in Oklahoma. And their boat-tailed grackles are positively raucous. They shriek. Our grackles–the are loud, but not like that.

    Karla

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