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Author Topic: Why are the birds singing at 2:30am?  (Read 8993 times)

Offline glovesforfoxes

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Why are the birds singing at 2:30am?
« on: 09/11/2009 02:47:28 »
I visited my girlfriend this weekend in Liverpool and we stayed up quite late. When we were settling down, I noticed the birds were singing at around 2:30am, I'm in Leeds and I can hear them again (it's 2:45). Why is this? In fact, why do birds sing at dawn anyway? I heard it was something to do with how well the birds voice carried, and the greater visibility for mates, but this is a bit vague. Can anyone pin down exactly why they sing at dawn usually and not 2:30am? I have had quite a lot of late nights, and never noticed it before.

I live in an urban area and so does my girlfriend if that helps.


 

Offline Geezer

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Why are the birds singing at 2:30am?
« Reply #1 on: 09/11/2009 06:54:15 »
What I want to know is how you got from Liverpool to Leeds in 15 minutes. We could all use one of whatever it is you have.

Sorry I can't help you with your question about birds. I always assumed they were doing it just to get back at me for keeping them awake at half past two in the morning.
 

Offline Don_1

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Why are the birds singing at 2:30am?
« Reply #2 on: 09/11/2009 07:31:22 »
Even in rural areas there can be a lot of background noise during the day. We are so used to it, that we only notice it when it stops. A bit like the ticking of a clock which goes unnoticed until it stops. During these quiet hours a bird's song would be audible at greater distances.

Whether the birds would be conscious of this fact is debateable, but I see no reason why they should not be. Singing is an important part of the bird's day. In the case of the Territorial birds, such as the Robin and Blackbird, it is mostly used to reestablish its territory. Singing in the early mornings and late evenings, when their song will carry futher, would seem to be the best plan since it could establish a greater territory and put neighbouring birds in no doubt of their presence. The gregarious birds, such as Sparrows and Starlings, do not need to sing (or rather chirrup) so early, since they have no territory to establish.
 

Offline Eric A. Taylor

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Why are the birds singing at 2:30am?
« Reply #3 on: 09/11/2009 08:53:54 »
They were probably singing "Its 5 O'clock Somewhere". Maybe they just flew in from abroad and were jet lagged? Maybe you woke them up with your noise and they were complaining.
 

Offline Eric A. Taylor

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Why are the birds singing at 2:30am?
« Reply #4 on: 09/11/2009 09:04:24 »
Even in rural areas there can be a lot of background noise during the day. We are so used to it, that we only notice it when it stops. A bit like the ticking of a clock which goes unnoticed until it stops. During these quiet hours a bird's song would be audible at greater distances.


What time is local sunrise in Leeds/Liverpool this time of year? Here in Portland, Or it's around 7am. This would mean local sunrise would be at LEAST 5 hours away, considering England is farther north than Oregon local sunrise would be even later there. So sunrise at 2:15 am in Leeds would be several thousand miles to the East (maybe Moscow?) I don't think he'd be hearing birdsong that far away no matter how quiet it was.

I know what you mean. I visited San Fransisco after the Loma Preada Earthquake in 1989. Power was still out and hardly anyone was about. And it was SO QUIET it was unnerving. I saw SF the day after the quake at night. Normally from Berkley you can see the city lit up with the Bay Bridge to the east. After the quake the bridge was broken and there was just a black hole where the city should have been. Not something I want to see again.
 

Offline Don_1

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Why are the birds singing at 2:30am?
« Reply #5 on: 09/11/2009 09:46:40 »
I have heard our local Blackbird singing many hours before and after sunrise/set and another distant Blackbird responding with his declaration of terretorial rights.

Hear a bird singing in Moscow? Maybe, with the right technological instrument:
 

Offline glovesforfoxes

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Why are the birds singing at 2:30am?
« Reply #6 on: 09/11/2009 10:52:38 »
Very good :D

Local times for Leeds sunrise: http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/astronomy.html?n=303
Lpool: http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/astronomy.html?n=301

There is only a slight difference, only a couple of minutes between the sunrise times.

Thanks Don.

By the way, I used quantum entanglement to travel that fast.
 

Offline Eric A. Taylor

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Why are the birds singing at 2:30am?
« Reply #7 on: 09/11/2009 16:13:16 »
Just checked, Moscow, Russia is +3 GMT so the +5 GMT time zone is 2 hours (about 2000 miles?) EAST of Moscow!!! What is the air speed of an unladen swallow?
 

Offline Geezer

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Why are the birds singing at 2:30am?
« Reply #8 on: 09/11/2009 18:14:24 »
What time is local sunrise in Leeds/Liverpool this time of year? Here in Portland, Or it's around 7am.

Isn't the term "sunrise" a bit of a misnomer for these locations? Should it not be something like "graylight" instead?  ;D
 

Offline Eric A. Taylor

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Why are the birds singing at 2:30am?
« Reply #9 on: 10/11/2009 05:40:27 »
The sun comes out in Portland. It's very nice in the summer.
 

Offline Geezer

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Why are the birds singing at 2:30am?
« Reply #10 on: 10/11/2009 06:46:28 »
The sun comes out in Portland. It's very nice in the summer.

I've been to Portland many times. Like Scotland, it's fabulous when the sun does come out (which is not very often).  ;D
 

Offline FuzzyUK

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Why are the birds singing at 2:30am?
« Reply #11 on: 21/11/2009 01:11:31 »
Can anyone pin down exactly why they sing at dawn usually and not 2:30am?

They quite often sing here in the middle of the City of Cambridge even in winter. The railway line a couple of hundred yards away has lamps some 70 feet high which ensures local patches of land are constantly lit. I'm sure this confuses the birds and they can't tell the difference between night and day.
 

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Why are the birds singing at 2:30am?
« Reply #12 on: 21/11/2009 02:59:36 »
I visited my girlfriend this weekend in Liverpool and we stayed up quite late. When we were settling down, I noticed the birds were singing at around 2:30am, I'm in Leeds and I can hear them again (it's 2:45). Why is this?

The early bird catch all the worms..............or haven't you heard?
 

Offline Geezer

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Why are the birds singing at 2:30am?
« Reply #13 on: 21/11/2009 06:36:31 »
Surely you mean "the early bloke catches the birds".
 

Offline Eric A. Taylor

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Why are the birds singing at 2:30am?
« Reply #14 on: 23/11/2009 08:12:53 »
Surely you mean "the early bloke catches the birds".

Who the hell wants to  catch worms? If you want to go fishing you can but worms from the bait dealer for very little money.
 

Offline Geezer

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Why are the birds singing at 2:30am?
« Reply #15 on: 23/11/2009 20:27:03 »
Surely you mean "the early bloke catches the birds".

Who the hell wants to  catch worms? If you want to go fishing you can but worms from the bait dealer for very little money.

Em? I'm confused!
 

Offline Eric A. Taylor

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Why are the birds singing at 2:30am?
« Reply #16 on: 23/11/2009 22:51:18 »
i'm wondering why anyone would want to get up early to go worm hunting.
 

Offline glovesforfoxes

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Why are the birds singing at 2:30am?
« Reply #17 on: 24/11/2009 00:24:50 »
Reread what he said..
 

Offline Geezer

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Why are the birds singing at 2:30am?
« Reply #18 on: 24/11/2009 00:28:21 »
Hint: Bird is a UK colloquialism for lady  :D
 

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Why are the birds singing at 2:30am?
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