Identify bird song

Singing superstars

Wren (c) Andy Rouse/2020VISION

What birds have you heard?

Birds have amazing voices. Most birds sing in spring and early summer, when they're trying to attract a mate, but some do sing at other times of the year, too. How many of these birds have you heard sing?

Robin

Robins have a beautiful song, like really impressive whistling with lots of rippling notes thrown in. They are one of the few birds in the UK that sing in winter. Take a listen...

 

Blackbird

Blackbirds start singing early in the morning. They sound loud and confident. The beautiful song is low-pitched and given in short, fluty verses. Blackbirds don't repeat their verses, unlike song thrushes. Take a listen...

 

Song thrush

Like blackbirds, song thrushes start singing early. They have a similar tone of voice, but they love to repeat themselves. They sing one bunch of notes and then repeat the same notes a few times, before starting on some new notes. Take a listen...

 

Great tit

Great tits make all kinds of different sounds, but their typical song is two notes that they like to repeat. It sounds a bit like they're shouting "teacher teacher". Take a listen...

Coal tit

Coal tits love to sing from really high up in conifer trees. They sound a bit like a teeny version of a great tit, with a much higher voice. Take a listen...

Blackcap

Blackcaps are summer visitors, but many now spend the winter here, too. They have an impressive song that starts off as a chattering mumble but gets louder and clearer as it goes on. Take a listen...

Chiffchaff

The chiffchaff is another summer visitor that sometimes spends the winter here. They have a really easy song to learn, as they just shout their name over and over again! It sounds like "chiff chaff, chiff chaff, chiff chaff", occasionally with an extra note mixed in. Take a listen...

Willow warbler

Willow warblers are summer visitors that spend the winter in tropical Africa. They look very similar to chiffchaffs, but have a very different song. Willow warbler song is sweet and musical, starting high and whistling down the scale. Take a listen...

 

Woodpigeon

Woodpigeons are often heard singing in parks and large gardens. They have quite a hoarse voice and sing the same five notes over and over again. It sounds a bit like they're saying "good morn-ing to you". Take a listen...

 

Collared dove

Collared doves sound quite similar to woodpigeons, but they only sing three notes. They're a little less formal and are just saying "good morn-ing, good morn-ing". Take a listen...

 

Our video guide to bird songs