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22 December 2006
Growing up in the Welsh countryside I couldn't help but develop an interest in wildlife and nature. I studied Zoology at university and then was lucky enough to work on bird research projects in Canada and South Africa. Working on these projects was an amazing experience and inspired further my interest in birds and their behaviour. I have worked for the RSPB since spring 2006 and I learn something new every day.
Sent in by Chris Marsden, Leyland, Lancs
The main purpose of singing is to attract a mate and defend a territory. Robins are one of the few birds that hold a territory throughout the winter so continue to sing when the majority of other birds have stopped.
Robins are often one of the first birds to start singing in the morning and the last to finish in the evening so are used to being active in low light conditions. In places where there are street lamps or other artificial light sources, robins can be triggered to start singing because it does not get completely dark. Other disturbances, like a loud noise or movement, can also start birds singing in the night.
Some birds in Britain regularly sing in the night. The nightingale is the bird that many people would associate with nighttime singing but corncrakes and nightjars do as well. However, these birds are only summer visitors to Britain and should now be wintering in Africa.
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