Birdsong 2

In week 5 (I think!) of Ireland’s COVID-19 lockdown we posted four easy to recognise bird songs with the promise to follow up with some more. If you missed that post, check it out now: Birdsong. It’s got songs for great tits, blue tits, chaffinches and blackbirds.

Since then, the number of birds in my garden has multiplied – there are four coal tits on my feeder right now and they’re all from one family. And there’s a family of sparrows in the hedge a couple of metres to the right. So it’s time for more birdsongs. Can you hear any of these in your garden?

Sparrow

Baby sparrow in my neighbour’s hedge

This is the noise coming from my neighbour’s hedge. Sometimes they all seem to have a little snooze and it all goes quite, but normally there’s a huge amount of chirping!

Sparrow calling in France. Recording by Oliver Swift, XC468309. Accessible at http://www.xeno-canto.org/468309

Coal tit

Coal tits on my bird feeder

The coal tit is probably one of the smallest birds in your garden. They tend to get pushed off the feeders by the bigger and bossier blue tits and great tits. I wish I had had my camera earlier when there were four on my feeder!

Coal tit singing in County Clare. Recording by L├╝thi Thomas, XC276740. Accessible at http://www.xeno-canto.org/276740

Robin

Robin watching me

There’s a pair of Robins who visit my garden too. They never go on the feeders, but they forage away on the ground. Robins are often very unafraid, and will hang out while you’re gardening.

Robin singing in Galway. Recording by Anthony McGeehan, XC188725. Accessible at http://www.xeno-canto.org/188725

Starlings

Starling

Starlings are beautiful up close, and also have the greatest collect noun: a flock of starlings is known as a ‘murmuration’. Parts of their calls are quite distinctive – I hear the sound below in my garden all the time – but they are also great mimics so listen carefully!

Starling singing in Howth. Recording by Lars Lachman, XC352835. Accessible at http://www.xeno-canto.org/352835

This is a great video of a murmuration

The photos aren’t so snazzy this week, because they were all taken by me in my garden. If you want to attract more birds to your garden, check out our posts on:
Making a plastic bottle bird feeder
Making a bird bath
And if you want to get better at identifying those birds, check our past posts on:
Garden bird watching
Bird in the Crow family (Corvids)

Published by Louise Allcock

Professor of Zoology at NUI Galway

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