International Dawn Chorus Day takes place this Sunday, 1st May

Published by Dave Brooks on

Image Credit: Larry Doherty

April 28th, 2016

While most people use Sunday mornings to lie in and catch up on sleep, this Sunday people all around the world will be setting their alarms for 5am. As dawn breaks this Sunday, Ireland will join the rest of the world in celebrating International Dawn Chorus Day.

The fact that most of our migratory breeding birds have returned at this stage, combined with sunrise occurring in the East of the country at the (relatively) sociable hour of 5.50am makes this an ideal opportunity to behold the fabulous array of birdsong on display.

The sequence in which different species of bird begin to wake up and sing depends to an extent on their eye-size, with larger songbirds like the blackbird amongst the first to sing and smaller birds like the tiny goldcrest usually being the last. Ornithologists believe that this is to do with the amount of light that reaches the eye, with larger eyes being more perceptive to light.

While there will be guided walks taking place across the country (check with local branches of BirdWatch Ireland), the Mooney Goes Wild show will be providing international coverage of the event as it unfolds across the world, from 00.00 – 6.00am Irish time. The show will be broadcast from BirdWatch Ireland’s Cuskinny Marsh Nature Reserve in County Cork.

So even if you’re not usually an early bird, this Sunday morning will be worth it to catch one of the most spectacular worms on offer – the Dawn Chorus! (Or you could just catch the broadcast on the Rte Radio player at a later time..)

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Dave Brooks

Dave works as Communication Assistant with the Environmental Pillar. His background is in psychology and he has a masters in Environmental Psychology from the University of Surrey.