Some people recognise birds by their songs rather than by their appearance. Birdwatcher Bill Oddie will hear 90% of birds before he sees them and explains how to recognise different songs. Gary has been blind from birth. His hearing is exceptional and he has been learning to identify birdsong since he was six years old. Many birds are small and are often difficult to spot, so it is useful to be able to recognise their songs. The dawn chorus in early May is lovely to hear but it is not a good time to learn about birdsong as there is too much going on. It is better to start earlier in the year when there are fewer birds singing. Bill suggests closing your eyes and listening to birdsong next time you are outside.

First broadcast:
3 March 2008

The clip would be useful to play when learning about variation and classification of different species. It could be useful to play prior to a visit to a bird sanctuary or before going on a school trip where there might be the opportunity to identify bird song. The clip could also be used to help children understand that birds make different sounds to communicate. Children could use the outside environment to record bird songs and then using the clip to see if they can identify the bird.