The most delightful sound when waking up has to be songbirds whistling in the morning, welcoming a new day. If you sleep near a window, it’s heavenly when their airy songs drift into your room. Birders recognize these winged singers as songbirds. There are 4,000 species of songbirds, amounting to about half of the world’s birds. This includes warblers, tanagers, orioles, finches, and others. Although not all of them sing in melody, they are all characterized by their highly developed vocal organ, the syrinx. They are distinguished by their small size, sometimes colorful display, and are usually perched on a branch.
A spring morning is synonymous with the singing of birds. Starting at dawn, getting louder by sunrise, birds use singing throughout their day. There are several theories to explain this behavior. Vocalization can be used either for social communication (mostly by males to attract females), or to establish territory. Females will also sometimes sing, especially to their partner. These vocalizations are not just limited to song; they can also be used as warning calls to others, or some birds may choose to sing while in flight.
It’s no wonder that bird songs flourish during the spring, since it’s the beginning of mating season. A time when food availability increases, snow melts and the rain brings an abundance of water— what’s not to sing about? Singing loud in the morning is also a way to let everyone know that you’re still alive.
Birds songs are not meant for us, but we enjoy them nonetheless. Without them, it wouldn’t be a blooming spring, so we’ve complied a couple of our favorite songbirds who flock outside our window.