Tweet of the Day

Tweet of the Day

Discover British birds through their songs and calls. Each Tweet of the Day begins with a different call or song of a British species, followed by a story of fascinating ornithology inspired by the sound. The series runs for a year, with 265 episodes of 90 seconds, narrated by wildlife presenters beginning with Sir David Attenborough.

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Recent episodes (10)

  • Little Owl

    Fri, 18 Apr 14

    Duration:
    2 mins

    Kate Humble presents the little owl. Little owls really are little, about as long as a starling but much stockier with a short tail and rounded wings. If you disturb one it will bound off low over the ground before swinging up onto a telegraph pole or gatepost where it bobs up and down, glaring at you fiercely through large yellow and black eyes. Today, you can hear the yelps of the birds and their musical spring song across the fields and parks of much of England and Wales. Written by Brett Westwood. Produced by Sarah Pitt.

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  • Hoopoe

    Thu, 17 Apr 14

    Duration:
    2 mins

    Kate Humble presents the hoopoe. The hoopoe, a salmon-coloured bird with a long curved bill and a black-tipped crest, which it can spread like a fan when excited, is so outrageously exotic that its call reminds us of the Mediterranean. Several hoopoes arrive in the UK each spring and autumn. These are usually birds which have overshot their migration routes and almost certainly won't find a mate here, though they do breed very occasionally. Written by Brett Westwood. Produced by Sarah Pitt.

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  • Green Woodpecker

    Wed, 16 Apr 14

    Duration:
    2 mins

    Kate Humble presents the green woodpecker. The maniacal laughing call, or 'yaffle', of a green woodpecker was supposed to herald rain, hence its old country name of 'rain bird'. You can hear their yodelling calls in woods, parks, heaths and large gardens throughout most of the UK. Altough green woodpeckers do nest in trees they spend a lot of their time on the ground, probing lawns and meadows for their main food, ants and their pupae. Written by Brett Westwood. Produced by Sarah Pitt.

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  • Meadow Pipit (Spring)

    Tue, 15 Apr 14

    Duration:
    2 mins

    Kate Humble presents the meadow pipit. No-one would give the meadow pipit any prizes in a beauty competition but this small streaky bird has its own charm, as it bustles through the turf with a jerky motion. If you're hiking across the moor it will rise ahead of you, dither in mid-air and then dart off, buffeted by the spring breeze. Written by Brett Westwood. Produced by Sarah Pitt.

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  • Swallow (Spring)

    Mon, 14 Apr 14

    Duration:
    2 mins

    Kate Humble presents the swallow. A flash of blue across farmland or a stableyard and a burst of twittering can only mean one thing, the swallows are back after their long migration from South Africa. No matter how grey the April weather, the sight and sound of a swallow dispels the winter blues at a stroke. These agile migrants arrive as the insect population is beginning to increase, and they are a delight to watch as they hawk for flies in the spring sunshine. Written by Brett Westwood. Produced by Sarah Pitt.

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  • Common Whitethroat

    Fri, 11 Apr 14

    Duration:
    2 mins

    Kate Humble presents the common whitethroat. Whitethroats are warblers which winter in the Sahel region south of the Sahara desert and spend spring and summer in Europe. When they arrive in April the males establish a territory by singing that scratchy song from hedgerow perches or by launching themselves into the air. Written by Brett Westwood. Produced by Sarah Pitt.

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  • Great Grey Shrike

    Thu, 10 Apr 14

    Duration:
    2 mins

    Kate Humble presents the great grey shrike. Great grey shrikes feed on small birds, which they can catch in flight. They also eat mice, voles and shrews and, as spring approaches, they'll include bees and larger beetles in their diet. Shrikes are also known as "butcher birds" because of their habit of impaling their prey on thorns, just as a butcher hangs his meat on hooks. Wwritten by Brett Westwood. Produced by Sarah Pitt.

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  • Grasshopper Warbler

    Wed, 9 Apr 14

    Duration:
    2 mins

    Kate Humble presents the grasshopper warbler. The reeling song of the grasshopper warbler sounds more like an insect than a bird. Like the paying out of an angler's line from a reel, the grasshopper warbler's song spills out from the bush or bramble clump in which he sits. You'll hear it most often at dawn or dusk in overgrown scrubby or marshy areas. Written by Brett Westwood. Produced by Sarah Pitt.

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  • Bittern

    Tue, 8 Apr 14

    Duration:
    2 mins

    Kate Humble presents the bittern. As the first shoots of spring appear in the reed-beds, you might hear the booming sound of a bittern. The bittern's boom is lower pitched than any other UK bird and sounds more like a distant foghorn than a bird. Today these birds are on the increase, thanks to the creation of large reed-beds. Written by Brett Westwood. Produced by Sarah Pitt.

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  • Curlew (Spring)

    Mon, 7 Apr 14

    Duration:
    2 mins

    Kate Humble presents the curlew. The haunting song of the curlew instantly summons the spirit of wild places. By April, most curlews have left their winter refuge on estuaries and marshes and have returned to their territories on moorland or upland pastures. Wherever they breed you'll hear the male birds singing and displaying. It's often called the bubbling song. Written by Brett Westwood. Produced by Sarah Pitt.

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