What does the dawn chorus sound like?

The Basic Idea

Organise an early pre school or breakfast club activity to sit and listen to the dawn chorus in your school grounds or nearby green space. Get the group to discuss what they heard and why birds are nosiest in the morning.

The dawn chorus is a chance to hear all your local birds singing at the same time at dawn. Early spring is best when it starts to get light later and at a time better for children and a school day (e.g. 7am).

All the birds sing together at dawn to defend their territories and nests. It is a chance for everyone to hear all the birds singing and to count the number of different sounds. Even if you don’t know what the birds are, the experience of hearing the cacophony of all the birds singing, even in a very urban area, is quite incredible. You can call on a local expert to help with identifying the birds or go online to resources from groups such as the RPSB to explore this further.

Bird song can also be recorded for listening to in detail later and playing back in the classroom to re-immerse the group in this experience – listening to bird song is also well shown to be beneficial for people’s well-being.

It is often cold first thing in the morning, even in the spring, so warm clothes are recommended. The grass is often wet from dew so good footwear will help avoid wet feet.