I woke up before 5 this morning but did not mind because I could hear birds singing outside my window including a loud, confident thrush. I remembered that today is International Dawn Chorus Day. What is it about bird-song that can be so touching? Clearly, there are a number of factors at play.

The sheer beauty of bird-song in terms of its ringing purity and subtle variety of tone may be enough to lift your spirits although there are some birds, of course, that make grating, rasping and croaking sounds which have less of an immediate appeal.

Even then, you may well be stirred by the sound with a joyful tingle because it is made by a creature that links you to a world of wild nature that is so near and yet so far from everyday life. It speaks of a life force that transcends the moment and will be there long after we have left.

There may be an added mystery, too, because you hear the bird but cannot see it.  It is announcing its presence yet keeping out of reach. The curiosity that this can awake may be irresistible. What kind of bird is making that sound? What does it look like in the fullness of its being?  

May is a good month to find answers, especially at twilight and in the early morning, so why not go out and drink in nature’s song?


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