Listening to Garden Birds
Do you recognise these birds from their birdsong alone?
While you may not think that you consciously listen to birdsong all the time, all those pretty little chatterings and singings of garden birds do carve their mark in our brains. That’s why, when you’re driving out of the city and into the countryside, you feel a strong surge of nostalgia whenever you hear the intense calls and songs of wild birds.
Chances are, you’ll recognise a lot of birdsong when you hear it recorded or when you hear it in the garden. You look around thinking, ‘I know you, who are you again?’ Then you spot a blackbird sitting on the fence belting out his best song. ‘Ah, of course, a blackbird.’
Garden birdsong is buried within our memories and we recognise all the common ones. But, when it comes down to it, can we actually connect the song to the bird?
And how amazing would it be to sit out in the garden with friends or family and say, ‘there goes the bluetits again,’ without even looking around to check who’s singing?
With a bit of practice, connecting the birdsong to the right bird doesn’t have to be difficult, especially when some of the loudest and most confident singers are common birds like robins, blackbirds and tits.
European Robin Birdsong
Ok, so we’ll start off with an easy one. The European Robin is one of Britain’s most loved garden birds. This iconic fellow doesn’t migrate and instead entertains us all year round. Hopping around the garden summer and winter, robins are also typically unafraid of humans and often follow gardeners around.
So you’ve seen robins throughout your life and perhaps even have a resident robin in your garden. You’d recognise him in a split second by sight, but do you recognise his song? When you hear it as you’re eating breakfast, do you know it’s the robin?
Mistle Thrush Birdsong
The Mistle Thrush is a common Northern European garden bird that is a bold and aggressive feeder. Often forcing other garden birds off a bird feeder while the thrush pecks around, scattering seeds everywhere! Juvenile birds often look scruffy and can be difficult to identify. It’s upright stance and definite hops on the ground help to separate it from the common thrush.
I would love to see a golden eagle, but I’m guessing that many of you are like me and unlikely to see one in our gardens! These magnificent birds are native to the Highlands of Scotland and their piercing, screeching cry can be heard from a long way off.
One of the best ways to spot a golden eagle when you’re hiking in Scotland is to listen out for its cries. When you hear the call of the golden eagle, you’ll look up and see this feathered giant circling nearby.
You can read more about eagles here from the National Geographic.
If you are looking for some no mess bird feed, we have a great guide here