Gifts for Bird Lovers & Nature lovers

Spring Birdsong: How to Identify Garden Birds from their Song

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Spring Birdsong: How to Identify Garden Birds from their Song

The sound of birdsong is one of the first welcome signs that spring has sprung. Our trees, our hedgerows and our gardens are once again noisy with the warbling and calling of birds.

Each bird species has its own unique song. Here are a few pointers on how to identify them:

Robin
You may have heard the robins in your garden singing their high-pitched trill all the way through winter. During the spring and summer, their song takes on a little more gusto. They tend to sing first thing in the morning and last thing in the evening. At dusk and dawn most other songbirds are roosting so robins get the stage to themselves.

Listen to the song of the robin here.

Great Tit
The great tit starts singing early in the spring. Its song is hard-sounding, with two sharp notes – higher and then lower – repeated again and again. Because great tits love to visit bird feeders, it’s often possible to see as well as hear them singing.

Listen to the song of the great tit here.

Wren
Despite its small size, the wren has a powerful set of lungs. If you catch sight of it singing, you’ll see its whole body vibrating with the power of its song. Its calls are loud and warbling and easy to recognise even though they’re so varied.  

Listen to the song of the wren here.

Chiffchaff
Chiffchaffs are some of the first migrant birds to arrive in the UK in the spring. And they stick around until the end of the summer. The chiffchaff has a gentle, plodding song that sounds just like its name.

Listen to the song of the chiffchaff here.

Blackbird
Blackbirds are year-round singers. They can sometimes be heard singing quietly in the undergrowth during winter months. But it’s from spring until the end of July (the end of the breeding season) when you’re most likely to hear its full-throated song. Blackbird song is varied, rich and flute-like, often ending with a few squeaky, high-pitched notes.

Listen to the song of the blackbird here.

Chaffinch
The chaffinch is another bird with great variety in its song. Typical characteristics, however, include a loud trill that descends into a little flourish at the end. The noise can be remembered with the phrase, "chip chip chip chooee chooee cheeoo".

Listen to the song of the chaffinch here.

See if you can distinguish a few garden birds from their song this spring. Recognising the species that visit your garden will help you to provide the right food. And give you lots of enjoyment too.

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  • Nikki Boxwild