Use our guide to some of the birdsong you might hear in Bristol
to help identify who's singing in your garden.
Robins can be heard singing throughout the year, save
for a quiet spell in July while they moult and no longer hold
The song consists of short melodic phrases of one to three
seconds, alternatively high and low pitched. It is clear close
too, but does not carry as well as that of other birds such
as the blackbird and song thrush. Individuals sing from bushes
and trees of moderate size, the songs tend not to be too difficult
In winter, both males and females sing while defending feeding
territories - the song during the colder months being a little
more wistful and melancholy than in spring.
Listen to the robin's song
For many, the blackbird's melodious song is unsurpassed
and always accompanies the optimism of lengthening days, light
evenings and warmer weather.
Birds start singing properly from mid to late February. The
song is a series of liquid melodic phrases lasting two to
four seconds or so, interspersed with intervals of equal length.
The birds sing from prominent song posts, and are often the
'first up and last to bed'.
Listen to a blackbird
thrushes sing, in the main part, from late January through
to mid summer, but will also have welcome bursts of song in
Their song is strident and staccato - a series of short loud
phrases, many simply subtle variations from a limited score.
Try repeating the phrase 'did-you-do-it did-you-do-it you-did
you-did you-did' and you'll get a feel for the song.
Males often take to the highest branches of tall trees to
sing - and can be heard from quite a distance.
Listen to the song thrush
Another great melodist, male blackcaps start singing
in April and continue through to July. The song in phrases
of up to five seconds, the notes pure, with intervals of a
The whole song may last quite some time, and on occasion without
pause. Blackcaps are also capable of mimicry, weaving blackbird
and thrush songs into their own. They sing from bushes and
dense vegetation, making themselves as inconspicuous as possible.
Listen to the blackcap
sing while in flight and only very rarely from a post or from
the ground. Their rich song is one of the great signature
tunes of an English summer.
Males fly up from their territory to 300 feet or more then
sing loudly in one continuous phrase that can last many minutes.
On completion, the bird will drop to the ground, sometimes
while singing, then, a little while later, rise up again.
Skylarks are found in rough grass and cultivated land, the
peak time for their song being from February, although they
may be heard on occasion in all months.
Hear a skylark