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FYI: The Dawn Chorus

Shira Yehudit Djlilmand

If you’ve ever woken up very, very early in the morning, you’ve probably heard the wonderful sound of the birds singing, known as the “dawn chorus.” Why do birds sing — and why in the morning?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Why do birds sing at dawn? There are two main reasons: one is to defend the birds’ territory, and the second is to find a mate. Usually male songbirds entertain us in the morning, and they’re doing a very important job. Once they’ve chosen their territory, they sing to warn other males to stay away, and they need to sing to attract a mate. Male birds who have the energy to sing after a night without food show they’re strong enough to provide food for two, and no female bird need worry about going hungry.

Why at dawn? It seems there are a few reasons. First, at that time, the air is very clear and still, so the birds’ song can be heard clearly. In fact, scientists found that birdsong at dawn is twenty times more effective than at midday! The other reason for singing at dawn is simply that there’s not much else to do!

 

 

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