|Go to the
main birds page.
song is a great way to quickly and easily identify species once you have
learnt which song belongs to which bird. Learning bird song can be
achieved through hours of experience or by going out with someone in the
know, or even through listening to recordings (now available on the
Internet). Of these the first option is the best, but the hardest.
RSPB web site has clips of bird song; find a species from the
alphabetical list and then click on the associated play button to
the top left of the page and then listen to hear your chosen
bird. The link opens on the blackbird page.
Once you can recognise a bird by its song you can
quickly tell what species are about, but of course it gives you no clues
to the other species which are silent.
The male bird are the singers. They sing to
proclaim their territory and ward off competitors, but they also sing to
attract a mate. Different species will sing at differing times of
the day. Some sing early at dawn when their food supply is still
hard to find and when their songs carry the best. Some sing during
the night (famously the nightingale) where they are the most noticeable
without other noises to distract.
The table below is a starter kit for some of the more
likely birds that you may come across, and some some stars of the bird
when they sing
fluent, clear and strident song. Phrases not habitually
repeated like the song thrush or as fluty as the mistle thrush.
Likes to sing from obvious prominentaries such as trees, bushes and
roof tops. Common bird in towns and likely to be heard.
song phrases in pairs almost without exception. Clear and
song from prominentaries such as the very tops of trees. Seems
to like to sing in wild weather and hence has another name of storm
which likes to make a great many different calls which can be
confusing. However its main call which sounds like "tea-cher
tea-cher" is very distinctive. It is a good sign of spring
||A drawn out
and rasping song accompanied by canary-like twitterings.
Usually made form the tops of trees and hence quite distinctive.
warble which resembles a wren. Sings on in small bursts with no
easily repeatable tune.
mellow song often heard in autumn as well as spring. Quite
often sings at night where there are bright street lights.
whirring, penetrating and undulating trill of a song. The
loudness of the song belies the small size of the bird. Sings
in bursts from near low cover such as a bush. Similar to a
hedge dunnock but faster and more urgent sounding.
golden sustained trilling song usually given on the wing as the bird
flutters in mid air. Sings in open farmland locations only.
and most memorable of all British bird songs. Like a black
bird song but richer and even more varied and skilled. A
summer migrant that will happily sing during the day but is famous
for its night time renditions. Usually sings from deep cover
bird with a distinctive song that sounds like the phrase
"a-little-bit-of- bread-and-no-cheeeeeese" in its pattern. The
last note is a drawn out and raspy.