In each post we’ll look at birdsong, and we’ll begin with some you’ve met in the Chirpy Challenge series.
All you’ll need is a piece of paper and a pencil.
In Chirpy Challenges we find out about birds you might see near where you live.
In Chirpy Chirps you’ll discover how to tell what a bird is, if you hear it and can’t see it!
How d’you learn who’s singing what?
When you want to train your muscles, you exercise; it’s the same wi yer lugs (ears) – you learn to tune in to the bird music and what it’s communicating 🙂
Here’s me on my morning walk in April
Let us look at the blue tit and the great tit.
Both these birds have a number of short calls, which say different things. For today, we will be looking at just a few.
Clothes – the head-cap is blue, it has a black ‘zorro’ eye-mask and white cheeks. The front is mainly yellow. The back is greenish-blue. Can you draw it?
Behaviour – these little birds are always on the move, flitting from tree, to bush, to window frame – wherever there might be a spider or a caterpillar.
Calls – listen out for two:
Did you hear the two different calls?
The one below is the blue tit alarm call.
Write ‘blue tit’ at the top of your paper and below it list 1, 2 and 3 for the different calls.
Now see if you can write or draw the pattern of how the calls sound to you. Here’s a few questions to help you:
Do the notes stay on the same level like this – – – – – – -? Or do they go up and down? Like a W or like an M? Or is there another way you can describe it?
If you try and clap the rhythm, what do you get?
There’s no right or wrong answer, it’s just to help you remember the sounds.
Clothes – the top of the head is all black, below the eye it has white cheeks. The tummy is yellow with a black stripe down the middle. The back is greenish-blue. Can you draw it?
Behaviour – these birds are often more shy than blue tits, but they are slightly bigger and can be bossy with other birds!
Call – listen to the two notes in this call:
And now this one:
And now this one:
These recordings are just some of these birds’ calls! But they will help you begin to identify them 🙂
Write ‘great tit’ on your paper and below it list 1, 2 and 3 for the different calls.
Write or draw the pattern of how the calls sound to you, use the questions you answered for blue tit to help you.
Remember there is no right or wrong answer 🙂
Finally your challenge is to listen to the final recording of bird chorus below. There’s a few singing in this one – see if you can spot the blue tit and the great tit in it 🙂
Clue 1: listen near the end of the 1st blue tit recording – and then see if you can spot the blue tit call in the recording below.
Clue 2: listen to the 1st great tit recording – can you spot this call in the recording below?
Did you manage? Don’t worry if you didn’t, but keep trying, it gets easier the more you listen 🙂
For more info on these two birds, and how they sound, please watch and listen to these great wee videos below:
The Blue tit:
The Great tit: