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This is probably the best time of year to identify birds for many reasons. Spring is the time of year that every birds plumage looks its best as they are trying very hard to find a mate during the breeding season. Still if you can’t recognise a bird by its coloured plumage then listen out for birds when they are singing. Did you know that every bird species of bird makes a different noise? When we pick up the phone, or hear somebody call our name, we can make a good guess about who is calling us. Birds are just the same. Each type of bird has its own voice, and during spring all male birds are singing their wonderful songs to attract a female and to tell other birds how strong and clever they are so other birds will not take over their territory!
If you want to know more about identifying birds by colour or songs there is a great amount of information on the RSPB's website. To start off look up "Great tit" which is a bird that lives in the UK in high numbers and in a wide variety of habitats - garden, woodland, hedgerows. Listen to its song "Tea-cher, tea-cher, tea-cher." It sounds like a bicycle pump "whistling air in and out"
Other bird songs that are fairly easy to learn and recognise are the Blackbird (loud and strong tune from the top of a tree) and the Blue Tit (high pitched quick twitter.) Listen out too for Starlings who are brilliant mimics. They often put everyday sounds door bells, phone rings and cars beeping in to their songs!
Photographs: Top left (Two Great Tits) Bottom right (Starling)