Why do birds chirp when they are threatened

Walk in to the bird concert: Blackbirds, finches and the late riser sparrow chirp

Walk in to the bird concert: Blackbirds, finches and the late riser sparrow are chirping here

Early risers can experience a bird concert at dawn in spring and early summer. But not every bird joins in at the same time. Ten common songbirds are presented on our bird clock, with their chirping.

To the interactive graphic: The chirping of the bird is played when you click on the numbers.

It chirps from every bush, from every tree: blackbirds, finches and titmouse sing particularly eagerly in spring. Most birds are active in the early morning, so the concerts at dawn are particularly polyphonic.

Not everyone can sing well

Around 100 species of songbirds breed in Switzerland. "Not all songbirds can sing well - for example crows or the barn swallow," says Livio Rey, biologist at the Sempach ornithological station. And the cuckoo is not a songbird, although many assume it is. And the most widespread ring pigeon that lives in our forests is not a songbird either.

The ring pigeon is sometimes mistaken for the eagle owl because of its cooing - but this is very rare.

The nightingale often appears in literature and is praised for its melodies. Livio Rey says:

"I don't find the song of a nightingale more beautiful than that of a blackbird."

The nightingale is rare, its song can be heard mainly in western Switzerland, Valais and Ticino.

The males in particular can be heard

From March to mid-June you can hear a particularly large number of songbirds. From the end of June concerned bird friends often call the ornithological station and ask where the birds are - you can no longer hear them. This is nothing to worry about, says the biologist: birds almost only sing during the breeding season, after which they are much quieter and therefore more difficult to see. Mostly the males can be heard. They want to attract a female with their singing and mark out their territory.

Black redstarters are early birds, they often start chirping when it is dark.

A little later, robins, blackbirds, wren, cuckoo, great tit and star join the morning choir. Sparrows are late risers. They don't begin to chirp until just before sunrise.

A million pairs of chaffinches

The most common bird in Switzerland is the chaffinch - around one million breeding pairs of them live in this country. The blackcap follows in second place. It's hard to see this little gray bird because it's hiding in bushes. The males wear a black cap.

The blackbird is the third most common bird species. She was once a forest dweller.

But she shed her shyness and approached the person. Today 500,000 to 700,000 pairs of blackbirds breed in Switzerland. "The frequent and adaptable bird species in Switzerland are becoming more and more common, the rare species are becoming increasingly rare," says Rey. Intensive use of the meadows and the use of insecticides are a threat to the birds. Almost all bird species depend on insects to raise their young.