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The Dawn Chorus

Early morning is the friend of Photographers and Birders.  This is the time for some of the best light, and this time of year, the time when the woods are alive with the sounds of the birds that have returned from the south and those that have been with us all winter.  The birds are setting up their territories and beginning the nesting season.


Song Sparrow

Normally, the first bird I hear in the morning is the Song Sparrow. He is an early riser and announces the coming day with a loud song that usually ends with a buzz or trill.  They are a familiar song once you have identified them but if you visit another area of the country it may not sound quite the same. Often, the next song I hear is that of the American Robin. It is a song we are all familiar with and one which for most of us is a sound of spring. 


American Robin

Soon the woods become alive with the sound s of the birds.  In the distance, the caws of the crows; they are starting their day forging for food or maybe they are on the trail of the fox as he starts his day.  The next sound might be Killdeer, flying high above, letting everyone know that he is on territory and it is going to be a great day.  In the woods, there are a variety of warblers.  One here says “Sweet, Sweet, I’m so sweet!”  (Yellow Warbler)  Another is saying "pleased, pleased, pleased to MEETCHA."  (Chestnut-sided Warbler)  Louder than most, the woods ring  with “Teacher, teacher, teacher” This is the Ovenbird, yet another warbler, whose nest is an ovens shaped dome that sits on the forest floor.



For an early riser the dawn is the best time of the day.

Text and photos by RE Arvidson, a wonderful artisan and an avid Prince Edward Island Birder. 




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