Bird song

So this week has been a pretty bog standard week in the life of Amie. Polish lessons, rock climbing, swimming and socialising. All this on top of my work.

I thought I’d write a little bit about what I actually do most days and about bird song in general.


This week I have been looking at natural duetting behaviour of my lovely study species, the mighty yellow-breasted boubou. This involves sitting in front of a computer and looking for synchronous male and female vocalisations. It takes a really long time because the recordings are from 5am until 7pm. Lots of minutes of recordings and lots of duets to highlight. In total I have around 8 days worth of these recordings to finish. It might sound boring to most people but actually when the field work is over, the hard science kicks in! Analysing recordings and then doing the statistics on the data means that we get inspiration and ideas for the next field season. Which is a really exciting thought.


One of the reasons I love bird song so much is that it is always around. You might not ever see the bird, but you know it is there. And most of the time, the songs are beautiful. I think bird songs are a constant reminder that animals are all around us, all the time. Which I find really exciting. We share this planet with amazing species. How lovely is it that I can walk down the street back in Manchester and in the city centre hear beautiful blackbirds. Walking through Poznan city centre I get to listen to swifts screeching overhead. Early mornings when you think no other thing is awake and all of a sudden a robin will start his early morning chorus. Definitely makes early morning worth while right? Then slowly throughout the day the music of the sky gets full and loud. Until you can’t help but tune in to all the amazing sounds. It can feel overwhelming sometimes. Even as I write this there is a house sparrow chirping away nearby, swifts screeching and jackdaws calling to a neighbour. Lovely.

This is why I appreciate being able to study bird song so much. Understanding its uses is exciting for me. Are they singing to show off to a female? Are they singing to defend a brilliant territory from a pesky competitor? That’s what I aim to find out!

It’s not a long post this week. More of a short rant about my love for beautiful songs. Maybe next time you’re sat at home and hear a bird, try and identify it. Not every bird species. Just the next one you hear. It’s quite nice investigating and realising which species it is. They are your neighbours after all.

Listen out and be happy. The world is full of lovely things.


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