We all know that our feathered friends are easy on the eye but have you ever stopped to listen to their stunning songs?
If you want to hear nature's hit single - the spring dawn chorus - get up early any time between March and July to tune in.
You'll need to be an early riser but how you do it is up to you:
Hardy adventurer: Get up, wrap up and head off on a wild walk to listen to our feathered friends.
Back-garden birder: Slip into your back garden and listen to your locals with tea and toast only moments away.
Bed slug: Those of you with a soft spot for a warm bed needn't miss out either! Open your window, lay back and listen to the symphony.
What you will need
With just a few free tools you'll be on your way.
To keep a record of sounds of spring, you need:
- Our Activity sheet (download in: English, Cymraeg, Bilingual)
- The RSPB online bird guide
- A good pair of ears!
Welsh/English bilingual resources are also now available for our family Wild Challenge activities/ Adnoddau dwyieithog rŵan ar gael ar gyfer gweithgareddau Sialens Wyllt
The dawn chorus is the perfect time to take this challenge.
Every spring male birds sing during the early morning to attract a mate. The chorus reaches its peak around half an hour before official sunrise and can be heard in gardens, parks and tree-lined streets from March.
The chorus reaches a peak in May, and can last well into July.
- Use the fun mnemonics and phonetics on our birdsong recorder sheet to start learning some common bird songs. You'll have loads of fun impersonating your favourite garden birds and, if you listen to our birdsong recordings in our online birdguide too, you'll be surprised how quickly you can distinguish different calls!
- Decide whether to take your challenge during a wild walk, in your back garden or garden or via an open window from the comfort of your own bed!
- Pick a day for your adventure and remember to set your alarm! This is the hard part but if you're not already an early riser, it's well worth getting up nice and early to witness this natural spectacle at its peak.
- Stay quiet and listen. Cup your hands behind your ears to make giant elephant ears and you'll be amazed at how acute your hearing gets. By turning your head, you'll also be able to distinguish different songs from different locations.
- Use the birdsong recording sheet to make a diary of your adventure.
- Don't forget to tell us when you have completed the activity! When you mark the activity as complete, you will be asked to upload a photo, a piece of writing or art showing us what you heard!
Completing the activity
Use the 'Mark as complete' button at the top of this page to tell us you've completed your activity. You'll need to show us what you did by uploading a photo of what you saw while on the lookout for signs of spring! Alternatively, draw or paint what you saw or upload a piece of writing - such as a spring diary - talking about your experience.
Make an ear trumpet
It’s not just birds that make distinctive noises, many of our pollinating insects do too.
- Take a large piece of card or stiff paper.
- Roll it into a narrow cone shape.
- Hold the small end to your ear and the large end at some flowers buzzing with busy bees. Don’t get too close, you don’t want to upset them.
- Follow the bee for a few seconds and see how its sound changes as it rummages for pollen and then flies away.