What is the Dawn Chorus?

Every morning, but especially in the spring, birds across the world welcome the sun to a new day with their song. This is known as the dawn chorus.

With the numbers of songbirds declining in the UK, our dawn chorus is getting harder and harder to hear.

To celebrate this natural wonder, International Dawn Chorus Day #IDCD is held worldwide on the first Sunday in May. Supporters get an early start, watch the sunrise and listen to the bird songs. You can either enjoy the birds in the comfort of your own garden or venture out to an event in your area.

Image by Ganesh Partheeban

International Dawn Chorus Day 2021


For the second year running #IDCD may be a bit different to usual. Some of us would normally head out to a local event, but due to ongoing restrictions, many events are not going ahead again this year. We can all still appreciate the joy the dawn chorus brings from the comfort of our own local areas, gardens or even our bedroom window!

We all look forward to seeing those first signs of spring, but what about listening to them? After all, natures very own orchestra is a beautiful thing!

The dawn chorus begins in March and reaches its peak in May, which also coincides with International Dawn Chorus Day, celebrated on Sunday 2nd of May this year.

Although many of us are unable to join in with an organised event this year, let us enjoy the wonderful sounds of dawn in our local area. 


Why not make a flask and set out on a walk around your city, town or village? You could even take your breakfast, or cup of tea and head outside to your garden? The first birds start singing about an hour before sunrise, so it will be an early start, and it may be a little chilly but that lovely spring symphony will be worth it!

If heading out at that time of the morning is not for you, then maybe try sleeping with the window open and letting your feathered alarm clocks wake you while you enjoy listening from under the covers!

We would love to hear how you are keeping connected with nature, please share your photos and accounts of what’s happening in your garden, especially which birds you are hearing in

your own personal dawn chorus!

Follow the fun in 2021 #IDCD

blackbird on fence.jpg

Not sure what birds you can hear?

Head over to our Songbird Spotlight to learn more about the birds you are most likely to hear in your garden.

Play recordings of their songs, learn what they look like, what they like to eat and where you are most likely to spot them.

We have also found fascinating facts which may come in useful for that next quiz. Let SBS help you amaze your friends with your knowledge!


Head over to SoundTent's annual Reveil dawn broadcast from around the globe!

Starting at 5am on Saturday 1st May 2021 and following the wonderful sounds of dawn, streamed live until 6am on Sunday 2nd May 2021

Dawn is an amazing time of day with a myriad of wonderful sounds from different countries.

Listen in at any time during the day; or leave on in the background for an amazing soundscape to make your whole day special.