It’s hard to finish up your beauty sleep when beautiful songs come streaming in through the window! Birds are early risers, but why do they start chirping so early in the morning? Wild Birds Unlimited has the answer for all things fine and feathered.
All the chirping, peeping and tweeting you hear in the early morning is called the “dawn chorus.” It’s when birds are singing louder and prouder than at any other time of day, and there are a few ideas about why that happens. Scientists used to think that the noise from bird songs could travel farther in the morning since the air is cooler and dryer, but that doesn’t seem to be the case anymore. It looks like it’s all about showing off those singing muscles!
Most of the birds in your backyard are probably pretty small, but they love to make a big racket. That’s because birds want to defend their territory from any threats, including other birds who might start competing for the same resources like food or places to nest. It’s important for birds to make a strong impression first thing in the morning to remind everyone that it’s a new day and they’re just as powerful as when they went to bed. The louder they sing, the stronger they sound, so no other birds get any funny ideas about moving into their neighborhood.
For most bird species, their favorite pop stars are men! Male birds are usually the ones with brighter, more colorful feathers, and they do most of the singing, too. And their singing isn’t always about keeping rivals out of their territory, sometimes it’s to bring potential mates into it. Scientists have found that bird songs are most clear in the morning, so it’s a great time for a bachelor bird to flex his pipes and show off his unique tune in hopes of attracting a female.
Looking for more Never Stop Asking "Why?" questions? Catch up on all of the past "Why's" on the blog!