Turn Up The Volume On Birdsong
Birds sing throughout the year, but in spring birdsong is particularly special; so many different types of birds singing loudly and together. Early in the morning from April to June, songbirds sing to defend their territories and to attract a mate. The dawn chorus is a true wildlife wonder on your doorstep and a choir you can enjoy from your bedroom window – so turn up the volume! To hear the best song you need to start listening early, a short while before the sun rises. The chorus will build and change as different species begin to sing – blackbirds and robins are often the first to start, with other birds joining in later. However, getting up early is not the only way to enjoy the wonder of birdsong – there is a secondary chorus late in the evening too! And you can also listen to birds singing throughout the day.
The problem with listening to birdsong and especially in the daytime is that there are so many other human noises to filter out. But there is a solution!
Animals with some of the best hearing have large outer ears (think of a tiger, a dog, a fox, or an elephant) to gather and channel the sounds into the inner ear. You can have bigger ears too!
Cup your hands (as in the photos below) and face towards the sound – you should notice it becomes louder and that other noises reduce. Your new ‘cupped-hand’ ears will help you to isolate and turn up the volume on birdsong. Adjust the position and curve of your hands until the sound is at its best.
You can experiment with your ‘cupped hand’ ears by rotating your head left and right. You will hear the sounds getting louder and quieter – this can help you work out exactly which direction the sound is coming from. Why might this be useful for animals?
Could you make even bigger and better ears out of card or similar, to channel more sound and turn up the volume even further?