Sunday 3rd May 2020 is International Dawn Chorus Day, when we are encouraged to get up early and listen to the birds around us greeting the dawn. The RSPB is promoting the day, and there is more information on the RSPB website, where they also have a Birdsong Hub with lots of information about birdsong. If you want to test your recognition skills, there’s a bird song quiz on this page on the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust’s website.
If you’d like to learn more about bird song, the RSPB published its ‘RSPB Guide to Birdsong’, written by Adrian Thomas and published by Bloomsbury just last year. It’s a really thorough guide with a good explanation of how birdsong works and lots of sonograms, which show the sound graphically, a guide to the song of 65 garden birds with a CD of 100 songs and calls, and explanation of how to recognise the sounds of a further 185 birds in Britain and Europe. It’s available from the RSPB’s online shop. Adrian Thomas, the author, will be on Countryfile on Sunday 3rd May.
If you want to find recordings of birds from around the world, Xeno-Canto is a great resource, with over half a million recordings of 10,000 species. Here’s a recording of a song thrush from Rutland on Xeno-Canto.