Program Information — Series 3 & 4
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The Dawn Chorus

There are yearly cycles to birdsong, peaking for most songbirds in the spring during breeding season.

There are daily cycles as well. Evening is a busy time. But the time around daybreak is the busiest of all, when you're apt to hear the most bird sounds, particularly if you're near a stream.

The rush of singing activity at sunrise is called the "dawn chorus". The birds have been quiet all night long, and now they have the opportunity to sing after being silent for 8 or more hours. The early morning air tends to be calm, so the sound of their songs and calls carries especially well.

In addition to its delightful exuberance, the dawn chorus may have its practical side, too. Predators lurk at night, seeking prey with claws, teeth, beaks, and talons, so dawn is a good time to announce, "Hey, I'm still here. This territory is still mine." But beyond individual territories or a little early morning romance, some morning singing and calling can re-establish flock harmony, too, for social birds.

Chris Tenney recorded this dawn chorus along the Carmel River.

Series 3
Egg Calls
Chick ID Calls
Chicken Calls
Vocal Tract
Syrinx Styles
Airway Model
Airway Overtones
Coiled Trachea
Beak & Airway
Vowels & Airway
Tuvan Throat Singing

Series 4
Size & Sound
Forest Soundscape
Grassland Soundscape
Bird Hearing
Local Dialects
Regional Dialects
Drumming - Woodpeckers Etc.
Bird Tongues
Bird Brains & Singing
Song Duels?
Dawn Chorus
Finale: Song Sparrow