When it comes to birds, they mark their territories through chirping. It starts from the early hours of the morning and stops just around evening when the weariness of flying around all day finally takes them home.
Birds usually start their morning chorus an hour before sunrise, mostly at 4 am. This is particularly the case during summer as they wake up earlier then. Although birds sing during other times of the day as well, their song in the morning is much louder and spirited as they try to attract mates.
What Time Do Birds Wake Up And Sleep?
Most birds find shelter in their safe sleeping space as soon as night sets in and do not wake up until the first light of the day. Other than that, many birds also take naps throughout the day to regenerate their energy.
Just like any other animal, sleep is necessary for birds as well, although their pattern is much different. Seeing birds sleep during the day is quite rare as they do not nap out in the open in fear of predators. You will also be surprised to know that most birds do not usually sleep in their nests. A bird nurturing eggs does, however, snoozes off from time to time.
Nevertheless, pet birds have a completely different sleeping pattern than wild birds. A pet bird usually sleeps around 10 to 12 hours depending on the kind of species. They still wake up just as the first light of the day breaks out and joins in on their own little morning chorus. Keep scrolling through to know more about why birds wake up so early!
Why Do Birds Wake Up So Early?
Whenever you hear the early morning chorus of birds, it is usually the males singing to mark their territory. This also helps them attract females so they can mate. It is like killing two birds with one stone! The earlier they wake up, the more they will be able to beat their competitors by attracting more females.
Birds choose to sing during that time of the day as the air is cool and there is less noise due to which their song reaches 20 times further than it does during any other time of the day. Singing loud and proud sends a signal to potential mates indicating that the male is strong and powerful. This helps attract their mates faster than the other birds.
Oftentimes, atmospheric changes also have a part to play in their sleeping pattern. Noise and light have different effects on them. Due to excessive noise pollution, it might lead them to think that the morning has started causing them to wake up earlier. Moreover, the illumination of street lights creates a day-like effect causing the birds to think it is already morning.
However, you may not hear any morning chorus during the cold winter nights. This is a result of the birds migrating to other countries in search of more pleasant weather. Even if they do not migrate, they are not up as early in winter as their main focus is keeping warm and surviving this brutal weather. Although, you may still hear an occasional song that too just minutes before the sunrise.
Not All Birds Wake Up Early In The Morning
Generally, it is the male birds that wake up early in the morning to do their usual work of attracting mates and alarming other birds. But there are also female birds that wake up early in the morning to feed their young ones. However, even though this pattern depends on some other factors, some specific species are mostly heard in the morning.
The chorus to which you might be the most familiar is the singing of blackbirds. They can be heard chirping all year round in one place depending on their migration.
These birds usually live in places with pleasant weather. Sometimes you may miss its singing around winter as the atmosphere gets cold due to which they migrate to a warmer residence.
The most common birds you might hear early in the morning, second to blackbirds are robins. Despite being small and weighing only about 77 grams, these birds have a powerful voice.
These birds are known to be one of the most active night-time birds but this does not stop them from waking early in the morning and following their usual singing routine.
You can frequently find these birds joining in on the morning chorus. The males have a black-colored cap on their head which helps separate them from the females. You can also distinguish the male through the rich and melodious songs that they sing.
This singing session ends with a shrill and dramatic upsurge as the males try their best to attract their mates. These birds can also sing in a quieter and simpler tone in isolated environments.
These are just some of the birds mentioned that take part in the vast morning chorus. There are more diverse birds with special features that join in on the chorus as well.
Why Morning Is The Best Time To Birdwatch?
The time at which you want to go bird watching depends on the kind of species you are looking for. Although, you want to observe birds when they are most active and morning is the best time for it as most birds usually are the most active and alert during that hour. This is because they are looking for food and trying their best to attract female birds to mate.
Birds are very vocal, especially in the morning, which makes it easier to spot them as there is no background noise so the song travels further. If you go bird-watching around the afternoon, the noise of the city will drown out their chirping, making it harder to locate them. Rely on your hearing and you might even get to observe some of the rarest birds in the woods.
Birds are usually more active during the feeding time to their young ones. This is mostly the case in the early mornings. If you are familiar with their routine, you can easily spot some of your species flying out from their habitat to get food.
You can also catch them in the morning around water sources such as lakes quenching their thirst. As it turns out, this happens during their mealtime as well!
Birds are most active in the morning as they have the very important task of finding a mate to reproduce.
Early mornings are not only great for birds but for you to go bird watching as well, so you can catch them at their best behavior.
When do they sleep
Birds sleep at night when their natural predators are less active, and it is harder for them to forage for food or perform other essential activities. Birds usually find a safe and secure location to rest, often in trees or dense vegetation, to protect themselves from predators and inclement weather.
Some species, like waterfowl, may sleep on the water surface, often tucking their heads under their wings to conserve body heat.
The duration of sleep can vary greatly among bird species. Some birds, like pigeons, may sleep for 8-12 hours, while others, like swifts, may sleep for only a few hours. Migratory birds, such as songbirds, can engage in “unihemispheric slow-wave sleep,” a process that allows them to sleep with one eye open and one side of the brain awake while the other half sleeps.
This adaptation enables them to rest while remaining vigilant for predators and maintaining their flight course during migration.