Next Sunday (May 7th) is International Dawn Chorus Day (IDCD). This is a day designed to promote one of natures daily wonders. The story behind it is rather nice. Back in the 1980s Chris Baines (known for his excellent wildlife gardening guide) invited people to his birthday at 4AM to enjoy the dawn chorus. It has built over the years to be celebrated in places around the world. The wildlife trust have since taken responsibly for celebrating this little daily pleasure that often goes unnoticed by many.
With Alice only 11 months old I’m often up for the dawn chorus anyway so will probably end up hearing it whether I get up intentionally or not. Recently I’ve been trying to match the bird song to the correct bird. One of the best pieces of advice I’ve read is when you hear a bird try to spot it. Then gradually you’ll connect the sound and bird.
The BBC has a number of free resources around the dawn chorus and recognising bird song. The Natural History podcasts did an episode recording the dawn chorus.
Also from the BBC tweet of the day gives a short clip about each bird.
To explain to children the idea of the dawn chorus I’d recommended this little book.
It tells the story of a young bird who wants to join in the dawn chorus, but can’t get up early enough. It introduces the concept of nocturnal animals and teaches a nice moral.
I’ll have to see how Alice sleeps next Sunday otherwise may have to indulge in the dusk chorus instead. Being by the sea we have an unusual cacophonous dawn chorus. The delightful sound of the blackbird mixes with the discordant squeels of gulls, whereas the evening choir is often nicer.